James Lockyer to Give Inaugural Lecture

January 02, 2008 - News Release

James Lockyer, a lawyer known as a champion for the wrongly convicted, will speak at the University of Guelph in War Memorial Hall Jan. 9 at 7:30 p.m.

The event is the inaugural talk of a new lecture series on justice and public affairs hosted by the Department of Political Science.

Lockyer's talk, "Wrongful Convictions: The Legal System Under Scrutiny" is free and open to the public.

Lockyer is the founding director of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted (AIDWYC) a national organization that advocates for justice.

He has been involved in a number of high profile wrongful conviction cases and is most recently known for defending Guelph's Steven Truscott who was acquitted by the Ontario Court of Appeal in August of the 1959 killing of Lynne Harper.

Lockyer has also been involved in the wrongful conviction cases of Guy Paul Morin, David Milgaard, Clayton Johnson and Gregory Parson.

He received an honorary doctorate of laws from U of G in February 2007. Before moving into private practice as a criminal lawyer, he taught law at McGill University and the University of Windsor.

Byron Sheldrick, chair of the Department of Political Science, said Lockyer was chosen to give the first talk of the new lecture series because he fits with the College of Social and Applied Human Science's strengths and goals.

"Our college is about taking academic knowledge and using it to make a difference in society and James Lockyer has made a mark on the Canadian legal system through his advocacy around the issue of wrongful convictions," said Sheldrick.

"He has made an immeasurable contribution, both to those individuals who have been vindicated as a result of his efforts as well as improving the quality of our legal system and ensuring that it continues to shine a spotlight on itself."

Sheldrick said the intent of the lecture series is to highlight current issues and have speakers who are making a contribution to the public debate around these issues.

"Lockyer is a great speaker and very engaging. This event is a great way to start off the semester on a high note by giving students a chance to hear a talk by someone who is a leader in their field."

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, l.hunt@exec.uoguelph.ca or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982, d.healey@exec.uoguelph.ca

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Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1