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The Hon. Ian Binnie served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada for almost 14 years. When he retired in 2011 he was described by the Globe and Mail as “arguably the country’s premier judge” and by Montreal’s La Presse as “peut-être le juge le plus influent au Canada pendant la dernière décennie”. He authored over 170 opinions on the country’s top court, including leading cases in patent interpretation and validity, protection of famous trade-marks, media law, commercial disputes, punitive damages, expert evidence, and many aspects of constitutional, criminal and administrative law.
Mr. Binnie was educated at McGill, Cambridge (he was called to the English Bar) and the University of Toronto. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1967 and argued numerous cases in most of the common law provinces and the Supreme Court of Canada. He appeared before the International Court of Justice and international tribunals in both governmental and private law disputes.
Mr. Binnie was appointed Associate Deputy Minister of Justice for Canada in 1982. In 1986 he returned to private practice as a senior litigation partner at McCarthy Tétrault until his appointment directly to the Supreme Court of Canada in January 1998.
In 1993, Mr. Binnie was elected a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He is a member of the Middle Temple and the Commercial Bar Association (U.K.). Mr. Binnie was elected a Commissioner of the International Commission of Jurists (Geneva) in April 2003.
The Honourable William Ian Corneil Binnie, Q.C.