OJEN Chief Justices’ Award
The Chief Justices’ Award was established by the three Chief Justices of Ontario Court of Appeal, Superior Court of Justice and Ontario Court of Justice. This award recognizes an individual who has made an exceptional contribution in promoting public understanding, education and dialogue in support of a responsive and inclusive justice system. Past winners have distinguished themselves by:
- Reaching underserved communities,
- Making important contributions to program delivery, research or evaluation,
- Establishing effective partnerships or collaborations, and
- Developing important innovation in justice education.
A permanent plaque acknowledging all of our past recipients is hung on display at the Court of Appeal for Ontario.
To nominate someone for this award, send their name and brief description of their activities to firstname.lastname@example.org. An OJEN staff member will follow up. Nominations are received year-round, but must be received before the end of the calendar year to be considered for that year.
His Worship Mark Conacher has championed justice education throughout his career. He was recognized in particular for his efforts in making the justice system a more accessible and less intimidating to young people through the Court Experience program, which he conceived, organized and maintained for 11 years.
Justice Jane Milanetti, a Superior Court judge from Hamilton, Ontario, was recognized for her exceptional contribution to promoting public understanding, education or dialogue in support of a responsive and inclusive justice system.
Maurice Anderson was the Courtrooms & Classrooms Coordinator at 361 University Court house for nine years until his retirement in December 2014.
Justice Paul Bellefontaine played an instrumental role in establishing the Durham Region Committee on which he served as co-chair for 6 years. While in this role he initiated several successful justice education programs including the Adopt-a-School program, which matches lawyers with teachers, and the Courthouse visit program.
Angelo Bolotta served on OJEN’s Board of Directors for 10 years and on OJEN Network since its inception as a representative of the Institute for Catholic Education. He provided an active role in governance, new strategic directions and day-to-day guidance to the staff team.
Justice Patricia Hennessy is champion of justice education, who has made significant contributions to northeast region through her OJEN pro bono involvement in her community. She has chaired the OJEN Committee in the Northeast Region since its inception in 2002.
Grace Russell is the point of contact for the more than 13,000 students and their teachers who visit Old City Hall each year and to thousands more who visit other Ontario Court and Family Court Houses in the GTA.
Jo Thornton, a law teacher and department head at Mayfield Secondary School in the Peel District School Board, is the 5th Chief Justices’ Award recipient.
Rick Gosling, recipient of the 2008 Chief Justices’ Award is a tireless community activist with a strong commitment to youth and to justice education.
Kristen Bucci, lawyer in private practice in Thunder Bay, past president of the Thunder Bay Lawyers’ Association is the 2007 OJEN Chief Justices’ Award recipient.
The 2006 Ontario Justice Education Network Chief Justices’ Award was presented to Mr. Paul Regan, a retired Vice Principal in the Simcoe County District School Board, at a special Law Day reception on April 5, 2006.
The inaugural Chief Justices’ Award was presented to Captain Douglas Taylor of the Great Lakes Commissionaires Office for his long-standing contributions to OJEN’s flagship program Courtrooms & Classrooms.