Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bastarache steps down

Apparently I'm now doing blog posts by request. Yesterday, Supreme Court Justice Michel Bastarache announced that he will be stepping down from the bench in June. Bastarache was not slated to retire for another 15 years, so this is a very surprising decision.

I'm not an avid watcher of individual Supreme Court justices, but I will miss Bastarache. He was the first justice that I actually had heard of before he was appointed to the bench, having read his work on language rights for my research. As both a lawyer and then professor at the University of Moncton, Bastarache was a major advocate for the rights of linguistic minorities in Canada. He played a major role in the development of Acadian rights in New Brunswick throughout the 1970s and 1980s. I hope that his decision to step down from the bench is not, as speculation in the Globe and Mail suggests, a sign of major health issues. If so, I hope he recovers swiftly.

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