John Charles Major CC KC (born February 20, 1931) is a Canadian jurist and was a puisne justice on the Supreme Court of Canada from 1992 to 2005.[1]

John C. Major
Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada
In office
November 13, 1992 – December 25, 2005
Nominated byBrian Mulroney
Preceded byWilliam Stevenson
Succeeded byMarshall Rothstein
Personal details
Born (1931-02-20) February 20, 1931 (age 93)
Mattawa, Ontario, Canada

Early life and education


Major was born at Mattawa Hospital in Mattawa, Ontario,[2] Major received a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Loyola College in 1953 and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 1957.



Major practised law as a partner in the Calgary office of Bennett Jones LLP for 34 years. He was appointed a Queen's Counsel in 1972. From 1975 to 1985, he was the Senior Counsel for the City of Calgary Police Service. He was appointed to the Court of Appeal of Alberta on July 11, 1991.

Supreme Court


On November 13, 1992, he was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. He was known for his belief in providing deference to government and for his particularly succinct writing style. Major stepped down from the court on December 25, 2005, approximately two months before the mandatory retirement date of his 75th birthday.

Administrator of Canada


On September 27, 2005 Major served as Administrator of Canada due to the absence of Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin during the transition from Adrienne Clarkson to Michaëlle Jean.



On January 5, 2006, he rejoined the Calgary office of Bennett Jones LLP, the firm with which he practised before his judicial career.[3] On March 8, 2006, he was appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to lead a public inquiry into the Air India Flight 182 bombing and the resulting trials. He was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in the Canada Day 2008 Honours.

See also



  1. ^ "Judges of the Court: The Honourable Mr. Justice John C. Major". Supreme Court of Canada. Archived from the original on 27 February 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
  2. ^ "John Major". Mattawa Museum. 2019-06-26. Retrieved 2023-03-24.
  3. ^ "Hon. John C. (Jack) Major C.C., Q.C." Bennett Jones. Retrieved 5 February 2015.