Justice Binnie there,
By Laura Katsirdakis
The Honourable Mr. Justice W. Ian Binnie of
the Supreme Court of Canada was the first of the faculty of
law's series of distinguished speakers. His appearance at the
law building yesterday packed the room full of eager listeners.
Binnie's career has been long and distinguished.
He was appointed to his current position on the Supreme Court
His advice to young lawyers emphasized a
pragmatic approach. "Put yourself in the place of the judge,"
he said. "Tell them what they need to know to agree with
He also spoke generally about Canada's highest
court. "The Supreme Court is like a decision-making machine,
we are great believers in protocol and ritual," he said.
He described how the justices always sit in the same seats,
even in the dining hall.
Binnie also spoke directly to young lawyers'
concerns. "No one expects young litigation lawyers not
to make a fool of themselves," he said, adding everyone
has done this and understands what it is like.
"This game is for people who know their own worth and press
on to achieve what they are capable of," Binnie said.
He warned to be prepared for some failures,
but indicated winning cases was the ultimate rush. "When
you pull victory out of a [tough case] you feel an incredible
high - a rush of professional vindication.
"It is a wonderful theatre in which
you learn to carry yourself," he said of the legal profession.
First-year law student Helve Hess said the
calibre of the speaker was what drew her to attend.
"The speech laid to rest a lot of my
fears about going into the [working] world," said first-year
law student Ambie Chana.