John C. Major

John C. Major

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John C. Major

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John Charles "Jack" Major, CC, QC (born February 20, 1931) is a Canadian jurist and was a puisne justice on the Supreme Court of Canada from 1992 to 2005.

Born in Mattawa, Ontario, Major received a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Loyola College in 1953 and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 1957. He was appointed a Queen's Counsel in 1972. He practiced law as a partner in the Calgary office of Bennett Jones LLP for 34 years. From 1975 to 1985, he was the Senior Counsel for the City of Calgary Police Service. He was appointed to the Court of Appeal of Alberta on July 11, 1991.

Supreme Court

On November 13, 1992, he was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. During much of his time of the Court, he was a comparatively low-key judge. He was known for his belief in providing deference to government and for his particularly succinct writing style. Major stepped down from the court on December 25, 2005, approximately two months early.


On January 5, 2006, he rejoined the Calgary office of Bennett Jones LLP, the firm with whom he practised before his judicial career. On March 8, 2006, he was appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to lead a public inquiry into the Air India Flight 182 bombing and the resulting trials. He was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in the Canada Day 2008 Honours.

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