Highlights of a stellar career

May 26, 2007 04:30 AM

1932: Roland "Roy" McMurtry born in Toronto, May 31.

1957: Marries Ria, his girlfriend from university.

1958: Called to the bar.

1975-85: Ontario Attorney General (also Solicitor-General from 1978-82).

Establishes bilingual courts.

Reforms family law legislation, giving women equal share in family property after marriage breakdown.

Introduces mandatory seatbelt law.

Sets up system of storefront legal clinics.

Helps forge deal leading to Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

1985-88: High Commissioner to Great Britain (after losing race for leader of Ontario Conservatives). Helps lead Commonwealth campaign to free Nelson Mandela and end white minority rule in South Africa.

1989-91: Commissioner, Canadian Football League.

1991-96: Associate Chief Justice, then Chief Justice of Ontario Court, General Division (the province's top trial court).

1996-2007: Chief Justice of Ontario and head of 22-judge Ontario Court of Appeal.

Leads panel that strikes down ban on same-sex marriage in 2003.

Reduces backlog in Court of Appeal.

Leads calls to improve access to justice. Helps develop Pro Bono Law Ontario to expand network of free legal services.

Supports alternatives to court for less serious youth cases.

Creates Ontario Justice Education Network, a program to educate students about justice system.