Toronto, ON, July 28, 2020 – The Criminal Lawyers Association (CLA) has awarded the prestigious G. Arthur Martin Criminal Justice Medal to Philip Campbell.

The Martin Medal was struck in 1989 to honour Goldwyn Arthur Martin, a nationally prominent criminal lawyer and eminent jurist. It is awarded in recognition of lifelong achievement and sustained commitment to the principles and advancement of criminal justice in Canada.

Noted for his ethics, professionalism, mentorship and advocacy, Mr. Campbell is being recognized for his career at the bar and his contribution to the administration of justice. He has acted as counsel on a number of notable cases including the exoneration of Steven Truscott in 2007, the exoneration of Glen Assoun in 2019 and the 2003 appeal in R. v. Brown, the case that set the Canadian standard for establishing racial profiling by the police. The Martin Medal will be presented to Mr. Campbell at a virtual award presentation to be held on November 5, 2020.

“I can think of no better representative of the criminal defence bar who exemplifies the legacy of G. Arthur Martin today. Philip is known for stellar trial and appellate advocacy, as well as mentorship and continuing legal education excellence.” said Anthony Moustacalis, Defence Lawyer and Past President of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association.

Three judges, all former members of the CLA, applauded the award.

Justice Shaun Nakatsuru of Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice said, ““Phil is a very deserving recipient of the G. Arthur Martin Medal. No one is harder working. No one is more thoughtful and astute, both as a trial and appellate lawyer.  No one is more generous and compassionate.  A true lawyer’s lawyer.  I am glad that the CLA have recognized his talents and legacy. “

Justice Melvyn Green of the Ontario Court of Justice hailed the award: “It would be difficult to overestimate Phil Campbell’s reputation among the bench and, in particular, the appellate bar. Unlike some of his peers, Phil does not solicit media or public attention. His humility is refreshing but it is time to recognize his incomparable contribution to the practice and esteem of the profession and his positive impact on the course of justice.”

Justice Matthew Webber of the Ontario Court of Justice added, “I have known Phil Campbell since I articled for him in 1990 and went on to work with him on many serious cases in my years at the bar. His body of accomplishments as trial and appellate counsel along with his invaluable mentorship of young lawyers constitute a contribution to criminal law deserving of the G. Arthur Martin Medal.

Lee Seshagiri ofNova Scotia Legal Aid and Dalhousie Law School noted in support of Mr. Campbell, “His body of criminal law work in private practice and on behalf of AIDWYC/Innocence Canada is nothing short of extraordinary. Needless to say, many courts and judges have been similarly impressed with Philip Campbell’s exemplary advocacy and legal analysis. More importantly, many of his clients have gained justice, freedom, or both.”

“One could ask for no better counsel than Philip Campbell. As opposing counsel, litigating with Philip offers an invaluable opportunity to improve. Woe be to those to who do not embrace that opportunity.” noted Mark Scott, QC, the chief Crown Attorney for appeals in the Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service.

“He is very well respected across Canada for his work. He is known for his passion, instinct, understanding and loyalty in everything he does – via education, mentorship, client representation and advocacy. Judges, lawyers and students alike have all benefited from Philip’s dedication to the law profession” said current CLA President John Struthers who looks forward to bestowing the honour on this year’s recipient.

Previous winners of the medal include G. Arthur Martin himself, John Robinette, Edward L. Greenspan, Marlys Edwardh, and James Lockyer as well as former Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justices Antonio Lamer and Beverley McLachlin, along with prominent justices from all levels of the judiciary and defence counsel from across the country.

The Criminal Lawyers’ Association is a not-for-profit organization representing more than 1,400 defence lawyers in Canada. It is the largest organization of its kind in Canada. The mandate of the association is to serve as a strong voice for criminal lawyers and other stakeholders concerned with the quality of criminal justice in Canada. https://www.criminallawyers.ca/

John Chagnon
Executive Director
Criminal Lawyers’ Association 
[email protected]


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