Read, John Erskine, OC, Justice, 1888-1973

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Read, John Erskine, OC, Justice, 1888-1973

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John Erskine Read, OC, was a lawyer, civil servant and the only Canadian judge elected to the International Court of Justice. He was born in 1888 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Dr. H.H. Read and Jessie MacGregor. In 1909 he graduated from Dalhousie Law School and pursued post-graduate studies at Columbia University before receiving a Rhodes Scholarship. He received both his BA and a Bachelor of Civil Law degree from University College, Oxford. In 1913 he was called to the Nova Scotia bar and practised law with Harris, Henry, Rogers, and Harris. During World War I he served with the Canadian Field Artillery, where he achieved the rank of Major.

In 1920 Read joined the Faculty of Law at Dalhousie University and from 1924-1929 he served as Dean. He was appointed Legal Advisor to the Department of External Affairs in 1929 and rose to become a Deputy Undersecretary of State. In 1946 he was elected a member of the International Court of Justice, later being re-appointed for a second term and serving until 1958. Returning to Canada, he taught in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa.

Read was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1967; one year later he was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Alberta. He was the first recipient of the Canadian Council on International Law John E. Read Medal. He died in 1973.


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Dalhousie University. Faculty of Law (1883-)

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Dalhousie University. Faculty of Law is the associate of Read, John Erskine, OC, Justice, 1888-1973

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John Erskine Read was the Dean of the Faculty of Law from 1924–1929.

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