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Chief Justice of Canada's Supreme Court to Visit Campus

PLATTSBURGH, NY __ The Center for the Study of Canada at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh will host the Right Honorable Beverly McLachlin, the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, for the second Annual Distinguished Canadian Address.

The Right Honorable Beverly McLachlin Chief Justice McLachlin will give a public presentation, "Protecting Human Rights: A Comparative View of the United States and Canada," on Monday, April 5 at 3:15 p.m. in the Hyman and Frances Krinovitz Recital Hall, Hawkins Hall.

Michael Kergin, Canada's ambassador to the United States, was the first participant in the Distinguished Canadian Address Program last year.

Dr. Christopher Kirkey, director of the Center for the Study of Canada, said the Annual Distinguished Canadian Address, which is free and open to the public, recognizes those individuals who have made profoundly positive contributions to Canadian public life.

"The goal of the program is to bring to campus a person of high stature with an international reputation. We have a mandate to make important contributions to the College and to bring people to campus who are well recognized in their respective fields. I'm very excited that the Chief Justice is coming to visit Plattsburgh."

The Supreme Court consists of the Chief Justice of Canada and eight other justices appointed by the Governor. McLachlin presides at all sittings of the court at which she is present and divides the work of the court by choosing the panels of justices to hear the cases and motions brought before it.

She is chairperson of the Canadian Judicial Council, which is composed of all Chief Justices and Associate Chief Justices of superior courts in Canada. This body, established by the Judges Act, organizes continuing education for federally appointed judges, coordinates the discussion of issues of concern to the judiciary and conducts inquiries into the conduct of any federally appointed judge.

Chief Justice McLachlin, born in Pincher Creek, Alberta, joined the Bar of Alberta in 1969 and the Bar of British Columbia in 1971. She practiced law with Wood, Moir, Hyde and Ross, in Edmonton from 1969-71, with Thomas, Herdy, Mitchell & Co., in Fort St. John, B.C. in 1971-72, and with Bull, Housser & Tupper, in Vancouver from 1972 to 1975.

From 1974 to 1981, she taught at the University of British Columbia and left as a tenured professor. She was appointed to the County Court of Vancouver in 1981 and then to the Supreme Court of British Columbia in 1981. In 1985, she was appointed to the Court of Appeal of British Columbia and then to Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in 1988. She was then appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada in 1989 and became Chief Justice of Canada in 2000.

"In the North Country, Plattsburgh State is the venue for intellectual stimulating of ideas. Programs such as this one enhances our recognition in the North Country and within SUNY itself," said Kirkey. "Through inviting distinguished guests to campus, the College is doing very good things. We're able to bring to the community an opportunity they wouldn't otherwise be exposed to, which fits in with our educational mission to the students and the general public."

Canadian Studies at Plattsburgh State is one of the largest and most prominent Canadian Studies centers in the United States and enjoys a worldwide reputation.

For more information on the Center for the Study of Canada or the upcoming visit by the Chief Justice, contact Dr. Kirkey at 518-564-2086. 

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