Law Society Award winner – Honourable John Charles Bouck

John BouckThe Benchers have selected the late Honourable John Charles Bouck as the recipient of the 2010 Law Society Award in recognition of his exemplary career and many achievements.

The Award is intended to honour the lifetime contributions of the truly exceptional in the legal profession whose accomplishments have inspired others to the pursuit of excellence.

Mr. Justice Bouck, who passed away in January 2010 after a battle with cancer, was a strong voice for reform in our legal system. In addition to participating as a member of the Law Reform Commission of Canada, he wrote extensively on legal subjects and was a much sought-after lecturer across the country and in the US. His blog and published articles on Canada’s criminal and civil justice system were based on his extensive research and he offered many suggestions for how the system could be improved. Many of his publications are now core texts for the profession.

Justice Bouck obtained his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from the University of British Columbia and was an extremely successful sole practitioner until 1965 when he and two partners formed what is now known as Edwards, Kenny & Bray. Among his many volunteer commitments, he served for three years as the Executive Secretary of the Vancouver Bar Association, was a five-year Bencher of the Law Society and was director of the Legal Services Society for four years.

In 1974, Justice Bouck was appointed to the BC Supreme Court, one of the youngest appointees at the age of 42. As a judge, he tackled many issues of law reform and judicial administration, pushing for modernization.

In addition to his many contributions to the justice system, Justice Bouck was a skilled military and civilian pilot, a Squadron Leader of the 442 Squadron of the Reserve in Vancouver, and an accomplished athlete.

Justice Bouck was a leader and a visionary. His work ethic was legendary and his integrity inspiring. In the words of his nominators, “There can be no doubt he made a very significant and outstanding contribution to the advancement of the law and the improvement of the justice system.”