1939 – 2020
Peter Hogg will always be remembered as one of Osgoode’s most beloved professors and Canada’s leading constitutional law scholar.
He joined the Osgoode faculty in 1970 and taught trusts, tax and, of course, constitutional law. His student evaluations were effusive in their praise. Peter always read the evaluations closely because he wanted to be a better teacher. He was Dean from 1998 to 2003, during which time he developed a Plan for the Law School that served as a beacon for Osgoode’s development. He also started a fundraising campaign that saw the first renovation of the Osgoode building. Much to his surprise, Peter was a very effective fundraiser. No one could say no to Peter.
In his last message as Dean in the Continuum alumni magazine, Peter wrote, “I love writing and teaching, and I hate daytime TV, so I expect to continue my normal activities in the future.” Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP offered him that opportunity by appointing him Scholar-in-Residence. There he continued with his academic work and provided counsel to the firm in the areas of constitutional law, governmental liability and the law of trusts. He also assisted with continuing legal education and student recruitment activities.
Perhaps every Canadian lawyer will know his book, Constitutional Law of Canada (Carswell, 4th ed., 1997), the most cited book in the history of the Supreme Court of Canada. He also wrote Liability of the Crown (Carswell, 3rd ed., 2000) with former Dean, Patrick Monahan, as well as other books and articles. He appeared as counsel in constitutional law cases. Peter was cited by the Supreme Court of Canada more than twice as much as any other author: Black and Richter, “Citation of Academic Authority by the Supreme Court of Canada, 1985-1990” (1993) 16 Dalhousie L.J. 377, 389.
Peter held many distinctions including: Queen’s Counsel, Ontario, 1980; University Professor, York University, 1986; Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, 1988; Mundell Medal for Letters and Law, Attorney General of Ontario, 1993; Law Society Medal, Law Society of Upper Canada, 1996; LLD (Hon), Law Society of Upper Canada, 2003; Companion of the Order of Canada, 2003; and an LLD (Hon) from Osgoode in 2006.
In his final interview for Continuum when asked about retiring from Osgoode he said, “I should say that at the time mandatory retirement applied, so I didn’t have any choice about leaving the Osgoode Hall Law School. I had to leave. But it’s easy to answer what I miss most about Osgoode. I miss the students.”
And we will miss Peter.