Michel Bastarache
C.C., Q.C.

Counsel

mbastarache@powerlaw.ca

Tel & Fax: 613-702-0472

For more than a decade, Mr. Bastarache served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, participating in 680 cases and rendering 143 rulings spanning a spectrum of matters, including those involving questions of commercial law, labour and employment, public law, administrative law, and the application of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In 2016, Mr. Bastarache was appointed as the independent assessor to manage the settlement of the Merlo/Davidson case, a class action against the Royal Canadian Mounted Police involving allegations of harassment, intimidation and discrimination based on sex or sexual orientation.

In 2015, Mr. Bastarache was appointed a Judge of the Organization of American States.

From 2008 to 2014, Mr. Bastarache was Counsel to the national law firm of Heenan Blaikie, where he headed a public law and appellate advocacy practice group. He was also a law professor and Dean at the University of Moncton Faculty of Law, and a law professor and Vice Dean the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, Common Law Section.

Mr. Bastarache has been very active in the business community, notably as President and Chief Executive Officer of a life insurance company (from 1989-1994). Furthermore, he has sat on countless boards and committees focused on legal education and the practice of law.

Mr. Bastarache has received numerous honorary doctorates, as well as prestigious decorations and awards in recognition of his outstanding leadership in private practice, legal education, and the public service. He received, among other awards, the Officier de la Légion d’honneur Medal from the Government of the French Republic (2003).

Mr. Bastarache works in English and French. 

Law Societies

New Brunswick 1980

Alberta 1985

Ontario 1986

Quebec 2008

British Columbia 2015

Education

LL.B. (University of Ottawa – 1978)

D.E.S Public Law (University of Nice – 1972)

LL.L. (Université de Montréal – 1970)

B.A. (Université de Moncton – 1967)

Select publications and conference presentations: Books
  • Les droits linguistiques au Canada, 3rd ed (Cowansville: Yvon Blais, 2013)

     

  • Le droit de l’interprétation bilingue (Montréal: LexisNexis, 2009) (with Naiomi Metallic, Regan Morris and Christopher Essert)

     

  • The Law of Bilingual Interpretation (Markham: LexisNexis, 2008)

     

  • Language Rights in Canada, 2nd ed. (Cowansville: Yvon Blais, 2004)

     

  • Précis du droit des biens réels, 2nd ed. (Cowansville: Yvon Blais, 2001) (with Andréa Boudreau Ouellet)

     

  • Language Rights in Canada, 1st ed. (Cowansville: Yvon Blais, 1986)

  • Précis du droit des biens réels, 1st ed. (Cowansville: Yvon Blais, 1993) (with Andréa Boudreau Ouellet)

Select publications and conference presentations: Book Chapters
  • “Bilingual Interpretation, Rules as a Component of Language Rights in Canada” in P. M. Tiersma and L. M. Sloan, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Language and Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012)

     

  • “The Globalisation of the Law and the Work of the Supreme Court of Canada” in S. Muller and S. Richards, eds., Highest Courts and Globalisation (The Hague: Hague Academic Press, 2010)

     

  • “The Experience of Canada in Dealing with the Adoption of Legislation and the Administration of Justice in Two Official languages at the Federal Level” in G. Totoricagüena and I. Urrutia, eds., The Legal Status of the Basque Language Today One Language, Three Administrations, Seven Different Geographies and a Diaspora (Michigan: Eusko Ikaskuntza, 2008)

     

  • “Forward” in S. Tierney, ed., Accommodating Cultural Diversity (New York: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2007)

     

  • “Children’s Rights in the Framework of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms with Reference to Section 15” in Bringing International Human Rights Law Home: Judicial Colloquium on the Domestic Application of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (New York: United Nations, 2000)

     

  • “The Linguistic and Cultural Rights of Acadians from 1713 to the Present” in J. Daigle, ed., Acadia of the Maritimes: Thematic Studies form the Beginning to the Present (Moncton: Chaire d’études acadiennes, 1995)

  • “La nécessité d’un vocabulaire français pour la Common Law” in J.-C. Claude, ed., Langage du droit et traduction/The Language of the Law and Translation (Montreal and Quebec: Linguatech and Conseil de la langue française)

Select publications and conference presentations: Articles and conference presentations
  • “Le poste de Commissaire aux langues officielles : une institution essentielle” (2015) 2 RD Linguistique 249

     

  • “Les garanties linguistiques : Droits humains ou instruments d’intégration sociale au Canada” (2015) 2 RD Linguistique 171

     

  • “Pourquoi faut-il encore avoir recours aux tribunaux pour assurer la mise en œuvre des droits linguistiques au Canada” (2015) 2 RD Linguistique 229

     

  • “Bilan et directions futures” (2013) Canadian Issues 16

     

  • “La pratique du droit en français au Nouveau-Brunswick : un commentaire fondé sur la préparation et la mise en œuvre du Rapport final du Comité sur l’intégration des deux langues officielles à la pratique du droit au Nouveau-Brunswick (1981)” (2013) 44:1 Ottawa L Rev 1

     

  • “Au-delà des nombres : le droit du public canadien à des services fédéraux dans la langue officielle de son choix” (2011) 35 Manitoba LJ 14 (with Mark Power, Jean-Pierre Hachey and Mathieu Stanton)

     

  • “The Opinion of the Chief Justice of Nova Scotia Regarding the Deportation of the Acadians: Introduction by The Honourable Michel Bastarache, C.C.” (2010-2012) 42 Ottawa L Rev 261

     

  • “The law of bilingual interpretation Canada” (2010) 41:2 Ottawa L Rev 397 (with Naiomi Metallic, Regan Morris and Christopher Essert)

     

  • “Le rôle des tribunaux dans la mise en œuvre des droits linguistiques au Canada” (2010) 40:1 RGD 221

     

  • “Comment protéger les langues officielles” (2009) 11 Rev CL Français 5

     

  • “How Internationalization of the Law Has Materialized in Canada” (2009) 59 UNBLJ 190

     

  • Presentation: “The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Canadian Society”, Fundacion Manuel Giménez Abad de Estudios Parlamentarios y del Estado Autnomic, Zaragosa, Spain, June 2007

     

  • “Convocation Address” (2007) 56 UNBLJ 334

     

  • “Decision-Making in the Supreme Court of Canada” (2007) 56 UNBLJ 328

     

  • “La jurisprudence de la Cour suprême en matière de développement durable” (2007) 9 Rev CL Français 5

     

  • “La Charte canadienne des droits et libertés, reflet d’un phénomène mondial ?” (2007) 48:4 C de D 735

     

  • “Le statut des minorités dans le cadre de la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés” (2007) 36 International Journal of Canadiana Studies 309

     

  • Presentation: “Passion and Advocacy in the Supreme Court of Canada”, Joint Conference of the Canadian Bar Association’s National Aboriginal Law Section and the Indigenous Bar Association, Ottawa, March 2005 (Vol. 5)

     

  • “Section 33 and the Relationship between Legislatures and Courts” (2005) 14 Const F 1

     

  • “L’égalité réelle des communautés de langue officielle du Canada” (2005) 7 Rev CL Français 7

     

  • “L’enseignement du droit à l’heure où les tribunaux sont appelés à redéfinir la démocratie canadienne” (2003-2004) 5 Rev CL Français 17

     

  • “The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom: Domestic Application of Universal Values” (2003) 19 Sup Ct L Rev 371

     

  • “The Interpretation of Human Rights: The Challenge” 50 UNBLJ 3 (2001)

     

  • “La Common Law en français : Lancement officiel du Fonds de dotation Michel Bastarache” (1999-2000) 31 Ottawa L Rev 355

     

  • “The Role of Academics and Legal Theory in Judicial Decision-Making” (1999) 37 Alta L Rev 739

     

  • “Les défis nouveaux du bijuridisme” (1998) 29 RGD 241

  • “Le défi du changement au sein du système judiciaire à l’aube de nouveau millénaire” (1998) 9 C de D 189

     

  • “Does Affirmative Action Have a Future as an Instrument of Social Justice” (1997-1998) 29 Ottawa L Rev 497

     

  • “The Challenge of the Law in the New Millennium” (1997) 25 Man LJ 411

     

  • “Judicial Selection and Merit” (1996) 45 UNBLJ 21

     

  • “ La situation du Français dans les tribunaux du Noveau-Brunswick” (1996-1997) 1 Rev CL Français 263

     

  • “Language Rights in the Supreme Court of Canada: The Perspective of Chief Justice Dickson” (1991) 20 Man LJ 392

     

  • “L’impact de l’entente du Lac Meech sur les minorités linguistiques provinciales” (1989) 38 RD UNBLJ 217

     

  • “Le statut du français dans l’Ouest canadien” (1989) Langue et droit/Language and Law

     

  • “L’Accord constitutionnel de 1987 et la protection des minorités francophones hors Québec” (1988-1989) 34 McGill L J 119

     

  • “Pour une nouvelle loi sur les langues officielles du Canada” (1988) 19:1 RGD 203

     

  • “Les droits linguistiques dans le domaine scolaire : Guide d’interprétation de l’article 23 de la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés” (1986) Fédération des francophones hors Québec : online at <http://bv.cdeacf.ca/>

     

  • “Commentaire sur la décision de la Cour suprême du Canada dans le renvoi au sujet des droits linguistiques au Manitoba, jugement rendu le 13 juin 1985” (1985) 31:1 McGill LJ 348

     

  • “Teaching the Common Law in the French Language” (1982-1983) 7 Dalhousie LJ 348

     

  • “Pour réussir le bilinguisme judiciaire au Nouveau-Brunswick” (1983) 24:1 C de D 55

     

  • “La valeur juridique du projet de loi reconnaissant l’égalité des deux communautés linguistiques officielles au Nouveau-Brunswick” (1981) 22:2 C de D 455

     

  • “La pratique du droit en français au Nouveau-Brunswick : un commentaire fondé sur la préparation et la mise en œuvre du Rapport final du Comite sur l’Intégration des deux langues officielles à la pratique du droit au Nouveau-Brunswick (1981)” (2012-2013) 4 Ottawa L Rev 1

  • “Dualism and Equality in the New Constitution” (1981) 30 UNBLJ 27

Before Power Law
  • Prior to being appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada, Mr. Bastarache served as a Judge of the Court of Appeal of New Brunswick (1995-1997), where he presided over cases in a variety of fields, including constitutional, administrative, and criminal law.

  • Prior to his judicial appointments, Mr. Bastarache was very involved in the academic, government, business and legal communities. He was a legal translator for the Government of New Brunswick (1970-1971), Secretary General of the Société des Acadiens et Acadiennes du Nouveau Brunswick (1973-1974), a law professor and Dean at the University of Moncton Faculty of Law (1978-1983), Director General of the Department of the Secretary of State of Canada, Promotion of Official Languages Branch (1983-1984), and law professor and Vice Dean of the Common Law Section at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law (1984-1987).

  • Mr. Bastarache was appointed Vice-President and Director of Marketing (1974-1977) and later President and Chief Executive Officer (1989-1994) of a life insurance company. In addition, he worked in private practice in Ottawa (1987-1989) and Moncton (1994-1995).

  • In 2010, Mr. Bastarache chaired the Commission of Inquiry into the judicial appointment process for the Court of Quebec, municipal courts, and the Quebec Administrative Court.

  • He holds honorary degrees from the University of Moncton (1998), Dalhousie University (1998), the University of Ottawa (1998), the University of Mount Allison (2001), the University of Manitoba (2005), the Université Sainte-Anne (2006), the University of New Brunswick (2007), and the Université de Montréal (2008).

  • A Goodman Fellow of the University of Toronto and a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Mr. Bastarache was recognized on numerous occasions for his significant contributions and commitment to French-speaking and Acadian communities across Canada. He received, among other awards, the Ordre des francophones d’Amérique from the Government of Quebec (1981), the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal (1993), the title of Jurist of the Year from the Association des juristes d’expression française du Nouveau-Brunswick (1993), the Boréal Award from the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadiennes du Canada (1995), the Médaille de Commandeur de l’Ordre de la Pléiade (1999), the Officier de la Légion d’honneur Medal from the Government of the French Republic (2003), and was appointed Companion of the Order of Canada (2009). In 2012, Mr. Bastarache was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2013, he received the Order of Merit from the Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Ontario.