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Thursday 6 April 2023 9:43am

Top Canadian law professor and University of Otago alumnus, Emeritus Professor Don McRae CC, ONZM, FRSC, will be recognised for his significant achievements with the conferring of an Honorary Doctor of Laws next week.

The event, which will be attended by University Council members, Law Faculty members, other Honorary Doctor of Laws recipients, and alumni, is timed to coincide with the Faculty's 150th celebrations.

Don McRae 2023 image
Emeritus Professor Don McRae.

Emeritus Professor McRae graduated from Otago with an LLB in 1966 and an LLM in 1967. He has worked as a professor of law in Canada since the late 1980s, first at the University of British Columbia, then the University of Ottawa.

He is Canada's leading authority in several international legal fields, particularly international trade and investment law, maritime law, and fisheries law. His expertise has been regularly sought by UN agencies and other international organisations, and seen him serve as counsel, for both Canada and New Zealand, in numerous World Trade Organization cases.

He is also one of only three Canadians to have been elected to the United Nations' International Law Commission (in 2006), placing him among the world's elite legal professionals, and has been a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, based in The Hague, since 1998.

Emeritus Professor McRae was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2002; awarded Companion of the Order of Canada in 2014; and made officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2017.

Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Helen Nicholson says the depth and breadth of his achievements are exemplary.

“Conferring an honorary degree is a recognition of our most outstanding graduates and those who have brought great credit to the University through their achievements. Throughout his career Emeritus Professor McRae has certainly done that,” she says.

Faculty of Law Dean Professor Shelley Griffiths is especially pleased to bestow the honour on him in such a significant year for the Faculty.

“Emeritus Professor McRae is a distinguished graduate of this Faculty, and his career is a demonstration of the focus on excellence and commitment to law and to the community that has been the hallmark of this Faculty. It is a fitting moment during these celebrations,” she says.

Emeritus Professor McRae will have his honorary degree conferred at a function in the Clocktower Building at 9:30am on Friday, 14 April 2023.

For more information, contact:

Ellie Rowley
Communications Adviser
University of Otago
Mob +64 21 278 8200

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