Fridman: Go forth and fulfill your duty

The next generation of nurses and lawyers has a duty to carry on the storied histories of proud professions, Gerald Fridman told graduates at the Wednesday afternoon session of Western’s 307th Convocation.

“By your presence here today, to accept these degrees, you have shown your willingness to take up the task which has been passed on to you,” he said. “On this auspicious occasion, therefore, I challenge and urge you to do so. Go forth and fulfill the duty and privilege which now comes into our possession.”

Fridman spoke to graduates from the Faculty of Health Sciences, Faculty of Law and School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at the Wednesday, June 22, afternoon session of Western’s 307th Convocation.

Western conferred an honorary Doctor of Civil Law, honoris causa, upon Fridman, extraordinarily accomplished scholar of Canadian law.

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A long-time Western Law faculty member, Fridman is the only Canadian legal academic to have written and maintained five separate leading treatises on five different areas of Canadian Law. His writing on Canadian private law has influenced generations of scholars, students, lawyers, law reformers and judges. His work has been cited in more than 50 decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada and in hundreds of lower court decisions.

Fridman studied law at St. John’s College in Oxford, and earned a BA, BCL and MA from the University of Oxford. He received his Master of Laws from the University of Adelaide in South Australia. Fridman was admitted as barrister-at-law in the Middle Temple in London, England, as barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of South Australia, and as barrister and solicitor in Alberta and Ontario, and is a former Ontario Queen’s Counsel.

In his citation, Western Law professor Stephen Pitel said Fridman joined Western’s Faculty of Law in 1975 and became an emeritus professor in 1994. Since then, he has maintained an office in the faculty and continues to spend much of his time there.

“The ongoing development of the law, it would seem, has precluded retirement,” Pitel said. “Gerald’s ongoing commitment to research continues to benefit the private law scholars currently teaching and researching at Western. We are very fortunate to have him as a colleague.”

In 1992-93, Fridman was the Editor-in-Chief of the Ontario Reports. He is the former Director of the Alberta Institute of Law Research and Reform, and former member and researcher for the Contract Law Reform Project. He is the author of more than 30 books, including several seminal works that continue to be used today at Western Law.