Brief Biographical Note of Justice Robert J. Sharpe (Retired February 28, 2020)
Robert Sharpe has been a judge of the Court of Appeal for Ontario since 1999. He graduated with the degrees of B.A. (University of Western Ontario, 1966), LL.B. (University of Toronto,1970) and D.Phil. (Oxford University, 1974). He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1974 and practised with MacKinnon McTaggart (later McTaggart Potts) in the area of civil litigation. He was a professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto from 1976 to 1988 and served under Chief Justice Brian Dickson as Executive Legal Officer at the Supreme Court Canada from 1988 to 1990. Robert Sharpe was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto in 1990 and served in that capacity until his appointment as member of the Ontario Court of Justice (General Division) (now the Superior Court of Justice), in 1995. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1991, awarded the Ontario Bar Association Distinguished Service Award in 2005, elected a Senior Fellow of Massey College in 2006, and received the Mundell Medal for Distinguished Contribution to Law and Letters in 2008. In 2011, he was appointed as a Visiting Professor, Oxford University and received the honorary doctoral degrees from the Law Society of Upper Canada and the University of Windsor. Robert Sharpe has written several books including The Law of Habeas Corpus (3rd ed. 2011); The Last Day, the Last Hour: The Currie Libel Trial, (1988); Injunctions and Specific Performance (4th ed. 2012); The Charter of Rights and Freedoms (with Kent Roach) (5th ed. 2013), Brian Dickson: A Judge’s Journey (with Kent Roach) (2003); The Persons Case: The Origins and Legacy of the Fight for Legal Personhood (with Patricia McMahon) (2007); The Lazier Murder: Prince Edward County, 1884 (2011). Justice Sharpe has also published many scholarly articles. He is a frequent lecturer at academic conferences and professional development seminars. He was a member of the Advisory Panel to assist the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission regarding the judiciary (2002) and a member of the International Bar Association Rapid Response Missions to investigate threats to judicial independence in Russia (2005) and Pakistan (2007). Justice Sharpe is currently President of the Osgoode Society for Legal History and President of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Legal Studies.