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Commission/ Robert-Sauvé Award

Robert-Sauvé Award


Winners 1999

On November 11, 1999, the Commission des services juridiques conferred the first Robert-Sauvé Award. Me Pierre Bélanger, Chairman of the Commission, presented the Award posthumously to Mr. Justice Robert Sauvé, the inspiration behind the Award.

The Robert-Sauvé Award honours the exceptional contribution of individuals to promoting the rights of the less fortunate. It is usually comprised of two components, the General Public Award and the Network Award. Exceptionally, this first year in which the Award was conferred, only one recipient was chosen.

« General Public » category

No winner

« Legal Aid Network » category

Mr. Justice Robert Sauvé

Photo: Paul Ducharme

In the photograph: Mrs. Nicole Kerjean, spouse of the late Honorable Mr. Justice Robert Sauvé, and Me Pierre Bélanger, Chairman of the Commission des services juridiques
Mr. Justice Robert Sauvé
After having completed a Master of Laws at the Université de Montréal, Mr. Justice Sauvé was admitted to the Québec Bar in 1955. He subsequently completed his studies at the London School of Economics and Politics and earned a Master of Public Administration from the American University of Washington. He started his career as a coalition officer in the federal Department of Justice in 1957. In 1960, he began to work for the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN), where he successively held the position of union advisor, regional director and secretary general. In 1968, he was appointed assistant professor of labour law at the Faculty of Law of McGill University; at the same time he was also the associate director of that institution's Centre for Industrial Relations. In 1969, he became Québec's Deputy Minister of Labour and Manpower and, in 1971, was appointed to the Court of Québec, then known as the Provincial Court, where he sat as a judge of the Labour Court.

In 1972, at the request of the Minister of Justice, he founded the Commission des services juridiques, of which he was the chairman until he was appointed chairman of the Commission des accidents du travail (CAT, currently the CSST) in 1977, a position he held until 1986. He also founded the Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST).

Mr. Justice Sauvé's very busy career did not stop him from being heavily involved in numerous community activities. He was vice-president of the Vanier Institute of the Family, president of the Groupe d’étude chargé d’examiner le rôle des organismes privés voués à la prévention de la criminalité et à l’aide aux détenus (study group to examine the role of private organizations for the prevention of crime and the assistance of detainees), president of the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions, president of the Québec Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association, chairman of the Parc YMCA and chairman of the Groupe de travail sur l’avenir de l’aide juridique (task force on the future of legal aid).

Applying his dynamism, determination and sense of social justice, Mr. Justice Sauvé was one of the major architects of the legal aid network. In addition to bringing people and resources together and believing in the strength of a network with a presence throughout Québec, this visionary sought to equip the legal aid network with the tools allowing it to better carry out its mandate. He established a system that includes research, education and expertise so as to provide quality services tailored to the needs of the legal aid network's clientele as well as the means for informing the public about its rights and the services offered by legal aid.

It is only fitting that the first Robert-Sauvé Award be conferred upon the individual who inspired its creation.
Robert Sauvé
To find out more
© Commission des services juridiques Création: Diane Laurin - 2017