Legal Giant Creates a Lasting Legacy

From the Summer 2009 issue of Nexus.

Honorable Charles Dubin, Q.C.One of Canada's great legal minds, the Honourable Charles L. Dubin, Q.C. - whose royal commission cleaned up amateur sport in Canada and set an anti-doping standard for the world - has left behind an inspiring legacy at the Faculty of Law, thanks to a generous bequest from his estate.

The substantial bequest will create The Honourable Charles L. Dubin Memorial Scholarship, two awards presented annually to JD students in any year of criminal law studies, his specific area of expertise. The scholarships will be granted based upon academic merit and financial need beginning in 2009.

His wife of 56 years, Anne Dubin ('50), was one of the first women to graduate from the Faculty of Law and to pursue a successful career in private practice in Toronto. Her death, just 14 months before her husband's, was a devastating blow to Justice Dubin, ending a unique partnership of heart and mind, according to his niece Francie Klein.

Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Dubin was appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal in 1973 and served as Chief Justice from 1990 to 1996. Upon his retirement as Chief Justice, Dubin rejoined Torys, working in arbitration as well as litigation and dispute resolution. A 1944 graduate of Osgoode Hall, Justice Dubin maintained close ties with the University of Toronto, receiving an honorary doctorate of laws in 1993.

In 1988, the U of T Faculty of Law presented Dubin its highest honor, a Distinguished Alumnus Award, recognizing his extraordinary public leadership and life-long commitment to the community. He was also distinguished as an Officer of the Order of Canada, and invested in the Order of Ontario. A remarkably talented advocate, he was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1950, making him the youngest lawyer in the British Commonwealth to receive the honour.

Dubin was perhaps best known for the high-profile commission he headed in the 1980s. Known as the Dubin Inquiry, the commission grew out of a celebrated incident in which sprinter Ben Johnson was stripped of his gold medal at the 1988 Olympic Games for taking performance-enhancing steroids.

"Uncle Charles felt it was his duty to give back to society - his motto was 'justice will prevail,'" Klein explains. "He was thrilled to know he was able to provide future scholarships to bright, capable students. It gave him tremendous satisfaction."