Walter Tarnopolsky

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Walter Surma Tarnopolsky (1932 – 15 September 1993) was a Canadian judge, legal scholar and pioneer in the development of human rights law and civil liberties in Canada.

Background and education[edit]

He was born in the farming community of Gronlid, Saskatchewan, to parents of Ukrainian descent. He was educated at the University of Saskatchewan, receiving his B.A. in 1953 and his LLB in 1957. After completing his undergraduate education, he attended Columbia University, receiving his M.A. in 1955. He subsequently received his LLM from the London School of Economics.

Degree School Year
BA University of Saskatchewan 1953
MA Columbia University 1955
LLB University of Saskatchewan 1957
LLM London School of Economics 1962


Tarnopolsky taught law at several Canadian universities, specializing in the fields of human rights and civil liberties. Between 1959 and 1983, he was a professor of law at the University of Saskatchewan, University of Windsor, Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, and the University of Ottawa. He briefly served as the Vice-President (Academic) of York University in 1972 and was the dean of Law at the University of Windsor from 1968 to 1972.

Year Law School
1959–1960 University of Saskatchewan
1962–1963 University of Ottawa
1963–1967 University of Saskatchewan
1967–1968 Osgoode Hall Law School
1968–1972 University of Windsor
1972–1979 Osgoode Hall Law School
1979–1983 University of Ottawa

From 1977 to 1983, he was a member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, and in 1985, he was appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario. He served on the Court of Appeal until his death in 1993.


  • Discrimination and the Law in Canada (1982)
  • "Freedom of the press" in Newspapers and the Law (1981)
  • The Canadian Bill of Rights (1966, 1975)

External links[edit]