Dispute resolution institute honouring retiring Ontario Chief Justice is set to launch

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Dispute resolution institute honouring retiring Ontario Chief Justice is set to launch

TORONTO, October 21, 2013 – Osgoode Hall Law School at York University has formally approved the establishment of The Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution honouring the career contributions of retiring Ontario Chief Justice Warren K. Winkler (LLB ’62, LLM ’64, Hon LLD ‘12).

The launch of the Winkler Institute, which will be the only centre of its kind in Canada focused on pursuing new ideas, practices, research and innovation in dispute resolution, will coincide with Chief Justice Winkler’s retirement from the Bench in December 2013.

“The Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution is intended both to be a lasting tribute to Chief Justice Winkler’s outstanding service to the justice system and to be a leader in developing and implementing new approaches to dispute resolution in the service of improving access to justice,” said Osgoode Dean Lorne Sossin.

“As a Law School with a long tradition of leadership in the dispute resolution field, we are tremendously excited about this initiative and honoured that the Chief Justice has agreed to lend his name to it. There are numerous Osgoode faculty and students whose work will fit within and be enhanced by the creation of this Institute.”

Professor Trevor Farrow will serve as the Winkler Institute’s inaugural Academic Director. The Winkler Institute will be guided by an Advisory Board comprised of global leaders in the spheres of law, business, labour, politics and policy. A full list of Advisory Board members may be found at http://winklerinstitute.ca/advisory-board/

Fundraising for the Winkler Institute, and a Chair in Dispute Resolution tied to the Institute, currently stands at more than $2 million – over $1 million in donations from more than 40 law firms and individuals, and a matching contribution of $1 million from York University. The fundraising campaign will continue throughout the fall, culminating in a celebration dinner in honour of Chief Justice Winkler on December 4 hosted by the Advocates’ Society, proceeds of which will be donated to the Winkler Institute.

L. Yves Fortier, who will join the inaugural group of Fellows of the Winkler Institute, and is recognized as one of the top arbitrators in the world, had this to say about the Winkler Institute: “I am pleased to see the establishment of the Winkler Institute, as we need to focus more on innovation in dispute resolution, and places that bring together judges, arbitrators, lawyers, academics, students and policy-makers committed to this goal." A full list of the Fellows of the Winkler Institute may be found at: http://winklerinstitute.ca/fellows/

Chief Justice Winkler is a nationally recognized and distinguished jurist renowned for his many areas of expertise, including labour law and class actions law, as well as his judicial mediation and dispute resolution skills. He has mediated many large national and international disputes including the Air Canada restructuring and the Walkerton tainted water class action, and was instrumental in the settlement of some of the seemingly most intractable major lawsuits in Canada.

Chief Justice Winkler, who has three law degrees from Osgoode, was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1965 and was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 1977. He was a partner in the law firm of Winkler, Filion & Wakely. He was appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice (General Division) in 1993, as a Regional Senior Judge for Toronto Region in March 2004, and Chief Justice of Ontario in June 2007. Following his retirement at the end of 2013, Chief Justice Winkler will become a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and the Honourary Chair of the Winkler Institute.

For more information, please visit: http://winklerinstitute.ca/

York University is a leading interdisciplinary research and teaching university in Canada. York offers a modern, academic experience at the undergraduate and graduate level in Toronto – Canada’s most international city. The third largest university in the country, York is host to a dynamic academic community of 55,000 students and 7,000 faculty and staff, as well as 250,000 alumni worldwide. York’s 10 faculties and 28 research centres conduct ambitious, groundbreaking research that is interdisciplinary, cutting across traditional academic boundaries. This distinctive and collaborative approach is preparing students for the future and bringing fresh insights and solutions to real-world challenges. York University is an autonomous, not-for-profit corporation.

Media Contact:

Virginia Corner, Communications Manager, Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, 416- 736-5820, vcorner@osgoode.yorku.ca