Mtre Casper Bloom
For his contribution to improved access to justice for the English-speaking community and his involvement in promoting the rights of cultural and linguistic minorities in Québec and Canada, Mtre Casper Bloom has been presented with Québec's Prix de la justice award for 2017.
Throughout his career he has played an outstanding role the fields of include language rights, minority rights, the defence of public order, and referendum law.
Mtre Casper Bloom was called to the Québec Bar in 1967, working as an attorney and later senior partner at the firm of Ogilvy Renault (now Norton Rose Fulbright) until 2003.
He undertook a brilliant career in labour and employment law. In 1998, he was named President of the Lord Reading Law Society, and from 2002 to 2006 he was a consultant and advisor on academic and employee relations for Concordia University. He also chaired the Public Service Labour Relations Board of Canada from 2007 to 2013.
His goal of improving access to justice in English led him to found and chair the joint committee of the Barreau du Québec and Chambre des notaires to revise the English version of the Civil Code of Québec. This colossal endeavour, which began in 1994, is only now nearing completing. Over a period of almost 25 years, with the involvement of around 70 eminent lawyers and notaries, it has recommended over 5,000 amendments, of which 3,500 have been incorporated into the Civil Code.
Mtre Bloom also set up the ad hoc Montreal Bar Committee on Access to Justice in the English Language in the District of Montréal. The recommendations made in its report are currently being implemented by another committee co-chaired by Mtre Bloom, the Standing Committee on Access to justice in English in the District of Montreal.
Mtre Bloom is recognized nationally and internationally for his professional involvement in defending the rule of law. He has held many prominent positions, including Bâtonnier of the Bar of Montreal, President of the Québec Branch of the Canadian Bar Association, national Chair of the Labour and Employment Law section of the Canadian Bar Association, and director of the Canadian Jewish Congress, Québec region. For almost 20 years Mtre Bloom has been a trustee of the Foundation for Legal Research.
Mtre Casper Bloom has received numerous distinctions and awards, and since 1985 has held the honorary position of Queen's Counsel. He was presented with the Award of Distinction from the Department of Justice Canada in 1988, and the Mérite du Barreau award of the Québec Bar in 2000, before being made Advocatus Emeritus of the Québec Bar in 2007. The same year, he received the Medal of the National Assembly of Québec and, in 2012, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2016, he was named graduate of the year by the Law Association of Université de Montréal.
Mtre Casper Bloom, winner of the 2017 Prix de la Justice award, between the Honourable Nicole Duval Hesler, Chief Justice of Québec and chair of the selection committee, and Stéphanie Vallée, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Québec
(photo : Louise Leblanc)