Lorne O. Clarke, Q.C.
Doctor of Laws
A native Nova Scotia, the Honourable Lorne O. Clarke was educated both at Dalhousie (B.A. and LL.B.) and Harvard (LL.M.) Universities and admitted to the bar of Nova Scotia in 1953. He was a professor in the Faculty of Law at Dalhousie prior to establishing a law practice in Truro, Nova Scotia, where he served for 22 years during which time he served with many professional and community organizations, including the Canadian Bar Association, the Nova Scotia Barristers Society, the National Academy of Arbitrators, the V.O.N., and the Nova Scotia Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association. He was also the Secretary; of two Nova Scotian Royal Commissions and chaired a third related to Workers Compensation and the Fishing Industry. As a neutral, he served as an arbitrator, mediator, conciliator, and Industrial Inquiry Commissioner in labour-management disputes. He was appointed Queen?s Counsel in 1969.
In 1981, he was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia (Trial Division) and four year?s later, became the Province?s 20th Chief Justice as well as a Justice of the Court of Appeal. He became a member of the Canadian Judicial Council, the Administrator of the Government of Nova Scotia, and a Trustee of the Provincial Archives. In addition, he served at various times, as Vice-Chair of the Canadian Judicial Council and either Chair or a member of its committees and special projects. He also served as a member of the Board of Governors of the National Judicial Institute.
Following his retirement from the Court in 1998, he was awarded an honorary membership in the Canadian Bar Association, Commissionaires Nova Scotia and the Halifax Chamber of Commerce; also an honorary presidency of the Nova Scotia Barristers Society.
In 1998, he was appointed the Commissioner of an Inquiry on Remuneration of Elected Public Officials in Nova Scotia, the same year when he served as the Chair of the Swissair 111 Planning and co-ordination Secretariat. It was particularly in this role, that ?Gentleman? Clarke, as he is sometimes referred, displayed his long-praised humble and humanitarian spirit. Indeed, in 2001, Canadian Red Cross (Nova Scotia region) awarded him its inaugural Humanitarian Award in recognition of his outstanding work and especially his vision of a Nova Scotia response that was both dignified and respectful.
Given Honourable Clarke?s outstanding record of service to the legal profession, and to his community, it is not surprising that he has received a number of honours which include an honorary doctorate in Law from Dalhousie University (1986); an Officer of the Order of Canada (1999) as well as membership in the Order of Nova Scotia (2002); and in 2002 also, Dalhousie University?s Law Alumni presented him with the Weldon Award for Distinguished Public Service.
The Honourable Lorne Clarke, his wife, and their daughter as well as two sons and their wives are all residents of the Halifax Regional Municipality.