Walter Surma Tarnopolsky

The Honourable Mr. Justice Walter Surma Tarnopolsky was a Canadian judge, legal scholar and pioneer in the development of human rights law and civil liberties in Canada. In 1986 the Centre hosted a banquet in his honour in order to develop the Honourable Mr. Justice Walter S. Tarnopolsky Travel Fund

From Libraries and Archives Canada:
Walter Surma Tarnopolsky, judge, university professor, born in 1932 at Gronlid, Saskatchewan, received his education from the University of Saskatchewan, B.A. 1953, LL.B. 1957, Columbia University, M.A. 1955, and the London School of Economics, LL.M. 1962. Tarnopolsky taught law at several Canadian universities, specialized in the field of human rights and civil liberties. He was a professor of law with the University of Saskatchewan 1959-1960 and 1963-1967, the University of Ottawa, 1962-1963 and 1979-1983, Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, 1967-1968 and 1972-1979, and the University of Windsor, 1968-1972, where he was also Dean of Law. He briefly served as the Vice-President (Academic) of York University in 1972.

Tarnopolsky, best known as a human rights advocate, served as the chairman of numerous boards of inquiry under the Ontario Human Rights Commission, 1967-1978, and was involved in drafting human rights legislation at the provincial level including Manitoba Bill of Rights, 1970s, and the Northwest Territories human rights code, 1983-1984, as well as at the federal level including the Canadian Human Rights Act, 1978, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He was associated with a number of organizations devoted to human rights including the United Nations Human Rights Committee, 1977-1983, Canadian Civil Liberties Association, president from 1977 to 1982, Human Rights Institute, and the Committee for the Defence of Valentyn Moroz, 1970s.

Tarnopolsky, of Ukrainian heritage, contributed to the Canadian Ukrainian community through his involvement with such organizations as the Ukrainian Canadian Professional and Business Federation and the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies. He was the author of several books including The Canadian Bill of Rights, 1966, 1975, and Discrimination and the Law in Canada, 1982. Tarnopolsky also co-authored Newspapers and the Law, 1981, for the Royal Commission on Newspapers. Tarnopolsky was appointed as a judge in the Ontario Court of Appeal in 1983. He died on September 15, 1993.

A detailed description, titled "CBC Tuesday Night: [background interview]" of an interview in Ukrainian with Walter Tarnopolsky is available in the Film, Video and Sound Inventory. Researchers are asked to consult with the appropriate section for further details.