Patrick Kerwin

Robert Taschereau Thibaudeau Rinfret Ivan Rand
The Honourable Mr. Justice

Patrick Kerwin
10th Chief Justice of Canada
In office
July 1, 1954 – February 2, 1963
Nominated byLouis St. Laurent
Preceded byThibaudeau Rinfret
Succeeded byRobert Taschereau
Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada
In office
July 20, 1935 – July 1, 1954
Nominated byRichard Bedford Bennett
Preceded byRobert Smith/Frank Joseph Hughes
Succeeded byDouglas Abbott
Personal details
Born(1889-10-25)October 25, 1889
Sarnia, Ontario
DiedFebruary 2, 1963(1963-02-02) (aged 73)
Alma materSarnia Collegiate Institute, Osgoode Hall Law School

Patrick Kerwin, PC (October 25, 1889 – February 2, 1963)[1] was the tenth Chief Justice of Canada.

Life and career

Patrick Grandcourt Kerwin was born in Sarnia, Ontario to Patrick Kerwin and Ellen Gavin.[1] Kerwin attended Osgoode Hall Law School in 1908. He articled in Sarnia with R. V. Le Sueur. In 1911 Kerwin moved to Guelph, where he practiced law for over 21 years with Guthrie and Guthrie, later changed to Guthrie and Kerwin.[2] During that time, he served as solicitor for the city of Guelph and Wellington County, as well as Crown prosecutor. In 1932 he was appointed to the High Court of Ontario.[citation needed]

Supreme Court of Canada

On July 20, 1935, Kerwin was appointed a puisne justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. In 1954, after 19 years on the court, Kerwin was appointed as Chief Justice, replacing the retired Thibaudeau Rinfret.[3] Kerwin was considered an able judge and administrator.[3] There was a minor controversy over him being Catholic, as Rinfret was also Catholic.[3] Kerwin was deemed to be in poor health when appointed and there were rumours he would retire during his tenure but served 9 years.[3] Five different associate judges were appointed to the court during those years, an unusually high number.[3]

Kerwin died on February 2, 1963, at the age of 73.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Canada, Supreme Court of; Canada, Public Works and Government Services (2000-11-01). The Supreme Court of Canada and its Justices 1875-2000: La Cour suprême du Canada et ses juges 1875-2000 (in French). Dundurn. ISBN 9781770700956.
  2. ^ McKenna, Stephen G. (2018). Grace and Wisdom: Patrick G. Kerwin, Chief Justice of Canada. Ottawa: Petra Books. ISBN 978-1-927032-68-8.
  3. ^ a b c d e McCormick, Peter (2000-01-01). Supreme at Last: The Evolution of the Supreme Court of Canada. James Lorimer & Company. ISBN 9781550286922.