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Biographies - Attorney General Launches Complex Criminal Case Procedure Review

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Biographies - Attorney General Launches Complex Criminal Case Procedure Review

Ministry of the Attorney General

The Hon. Patrick J. LeSage, Q.C., and Professor Michael Code have been retained by the Ministry of the Attorney General to lead a review of large and complex criminal case procedures ("the Review").

Michael Code

Michael Code is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto.

He received his call to the Bar of Ontario in 1981. From 1981 until 1991 he practised with the Toronto firm of Ruby and Edwardh, where he specialized in criminal and constitutional litigation. Professor Code has lectured in criminal law at Woodsworth College, University of Toronto, and in evidence law at Osgoode Hall Law School. He was an editor of the Canadian Rights Reporter from its inception in 1982 until 1996.

In 1991, Professor Code was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister, Criminal Law Division, Ministry of the Attorney General for Ontario. In 1996 he returned to private practice with the firm of Sack Goldblatt Mitchell. He was a visiting scholar at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 2005-06, and joined the faculty full-time in 2006. He received 2007 Mewett Award for Excellence in Teaching.

During his career, Professor Code has argued some of the leading Charter of Rights cases in the Supreme Court of Canada and the Court of Appeal for Ontario. In recent years he has appeared as Commission counsel at the Driskell Inquiry into a wrongful conviction in Manitoba, and as counsel to the Ontario Securities Commission in the Rankin, YBM Magnex and Bre-X cases.

He has also appeared as counsel to the SIU in relation to various police investigation issues in Ontario, as counsel to the Manitoba Crown in a contempt prosecution where the Chief Justice was the victim, in a successful mediation and resolution of a gang-related "mega-trial" and, finally, as defence counsel in the recent "Air India" terrorism trial in Vancouver.

The Honourable Patrick J. LeSage, CM, QC

Former Chief Justice of the Ontario Superior Court, Patrick LeSage is currently providing advice on complex disputes with the law firm Gowlings (Gowling Lafleur Henderson) and he also acts as a mediator, arbitrator, and/or fact finder in significant private and public sector matters.

Patrick LeSage began his distinguished career as a Crown Attorney in the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, where he rose to the position of the Director of Crown Attorneys for Ontario. Appointed to the County and District Court in 1975, he became Associate Chief Judge of that Court in 1983. In 1994 he became Associate Chief Justice and in 1996 was appointed Chief Justice of what is now the Superior Court of Justice for Ontario, a position he held until September 2002.

During his remarkable 29 years on the bench, Mr. LeSage presided over some of Canada's most publicized and complex cases. He lectured extensively to judges, law students and law societies. He was involved in introducing gender and racial equality seminars for judges in the late 1980's. Mr. LeSage was a member of the Equality Committee and the Administration of Justice Committee of the Canadian Judicial Council, and is a past Director of the Canadian Judges Conference.

He was appointed by the Government of Ontario to conduct an extensive review of Ontario's police complaints system. His final report, presented to the Attorney General in 2005, contained 27 recommendations aimed at creating a new and independent police review body that would be both equitable and effective for all.

Mr. LeSage was appointed a Commissioner of the Ontario Securities Commission in December 2005. In December 2005, the Attorney General of Manitoba appointed him to conduct an inquiry into the first-degree murder conviction of James Driskell.  In August 2007, he was appointed as an Advisor to the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association.

Mr. LeSage was awarded a D.C.L. (H.C.) from the University of Windsor in 1996 and an LL.D (H.C.) from Laurentian University in 2001. For his lifelong commitment to justice and public service throughout his distinguished career, Mr. LeSage was awarded an LL.D (H.C.) by the Law Society of Upper Canada in July 2006.

In December 2007 Mr. LeSage was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada for his contributions to the Ontario judiciary, notably as Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Ontario, and for his ongoing dedication to public service.

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