From the Spring 2000 issue of Nexus

A new chair in capital markets regulation has been established at the law school with the assistance of the Ontario Research and Development Corporation. The chair forms part of the Toronto Stock Exchange Capital Markers Institute, and it honours former dean and current Supreme Court Justice, the Honourable Frank Iacobucci.
Mr. Justice Iacobucci's roots in the law school go back several decades. In 1967, while working as a young corporate lawyer at the New York City firm of Dewey Ballantine, Mr. Justice Iacobucci received a job offer which would transform his life. Impressed by the talent of the young corporate practitioner, Cecil A. Wright asked him to join the Faculty as a professor of law. Under Dean Wright's persuasion, Mr. Justice Iacobucci left New York, taking up a new career that would lead him through the roles of teacher, scholar, and university administrator. In 1979, he was appointed as dean of the Faculty and went on to hold various positions at the University of Toronto, including University Provost.

During his time at the Faculty, Mr. Justice Iacobucci's unassuming nature and concern for others left an indelible impression on faculty and students. University president and former student of Mr. Justice Iacobucci, Robert Prichard, recalls that "he cared about his students, each of them and all of them." Many former students say that he not only seemed to know everyone's name, but was capable of recalling students' names ten or fifteen years after graduation.

Graduates of the Faculty also recall how he skillfully wielded his warm sense of humour in the classroom, often gently correcting less-than-perfect answers. Professor Jeff Macintosh, one of the many students inspired by Mr. Justice Iacobucci to pursue corporate law, remembers being consoled by the future Supreme Court judge during one class with the words, "Don't worry, even the Russian judge would give you a 9 for that answer." As Macintosh recalls, "This produced a hearty chortle from the class and we moved on."

Beyond being a great teacher, Mr. Justice Iacobucci was a respected scholar, authoring seminal corporate law articles and texts. He was also instrumental in the revival of the Law Alumni Association in the 1970s, understanding the importance of alumni contribution to a great law school. "The resurrection of the LAA after a long period of dormancy stands as one of Mr. Justice Iacobucci's greatest legacies to the Faculty," says President Prichard. "Frank was ahead of his time in realizing that a great school has to rely considerably on the support of its graduates. The rebirth of the alumni association was an act of singular foresight and institutional leadership and we owe a great deal to him today for this contribution to the vitality of the law school."

In 1985, Mr. Justice Iacobucci accepted an appointment as the Canadian Deputy Minister of Justice and the Deputy Attorney General for Canada. In 1988, after three successful years in the public service, the Prime Minister invited Justice Iacobucci to become the Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Canada. Three years later in 1991, he was named to the Supreme Court of Canada. As a justice of the Supreme Court, Mr. Justice Iacobucci has been an important consensus builder in many of the most difficult areas of legal dispute and continues to make precedent-setting decisions on issues that shape and affect Canadian law and policy.