Robert Décary chose to generously support — and place full trust in — the Civil Law Section

Posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2018

" I gave them carte blanche,” says Robert Décary, who decided to designate his bequest to a special Civil Law Section fund designed to meet future priorities.

This touching, precious trust is born of a solid relationship of more than 30 years between the Civil Law Section and Décary, a jurist who has had an outstanding career.

By turns a lawyer, columnist, author, Federal Court of Appeal judge and much more, Décary has been there for many moments that have shaped our times, including the Pépin-Robarts Commission, the Chantal Daigle court case and the Vancouver Olympic Games.

But contrary to what you might think, his relationship with the Civil Law Section didn’t begin in school. Décary’s connection to the section, and its students and professors, goes far beyond a simple degree.

“It’s become my faculty by choice,” he says, explaining the importance of his “great mentor and friend” Gérald-A. Beaudoin, the late namesake of the Gérald-A.-Beaudoin Foundation — a pioneer in constitutional law and former dean of the Civil Law Section — in developing this relationship.

“For me, the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law is an example of the way you can manage to respectfully combine Canada’s two languages and cultures. The students, the University and the Faculty have imbued this legal enterprise with a grandeur that I haven’t seen elsewhere.”

Today, the bequest that Décary has designated to the section aims to support a faculty whose distinctive character has long impressed him.

As a former judge, Décary knows all about decisions, but he’s happy to leave those about the future of the section up to others.

“I’m contributing to something that’s moving forward. I trust in what they will do with what I leave them.”

Retired judge Robert Décary has seen a lot in his colourful career. But what he saw in the University of Ottawa’s Civil Law Section made him want to invest in its future.


Do you want to join these kind-hearted people, whose generosity makes such a difference in our students’ lives? Have you already included a donation to the University of Ottawa in your will, or are you thinking of doing so? Contact us!

Back to top