1848 – 1906
Who was Robert Sedgewick?
Robert Sedgewick was a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.
Born in Aberdeen, Scotland, Sedgewick's family immigrated to Nova Scotia while he was still an infant. He was educated at Dalhousie University in Halifax, graduating in 1867. He articled in Cornwall, Ontario, in the private practice of John Sandfield Macdonald, who was at that time both the Premier and the Attorney General of Ontario. Sedgewick was called to the bar in Ontario in 1872, and in Nova Scotia in 1873 following his return to the province. Sedgwick then established a private practice in Halifax, and subsequently played an essential role in the establishment of the law school at Dalhousie in 1883.
Beginning in the 1870s, Sedgewick became active in the Conservative Party of Canada. The connections thus established would serve him well, as his friend and former Halifax colleague John Sparrow David Thompson, who had become the federal Minister of Justice, appointed Sedgewick as Deputy Minister of Justice in February 1888. In this capacity, he played an important role in the establishment of the first formalised Criminal Code of Canada, which was enacted in 1892. Thompson, who had by then become the Prime Minister of Canada, also appointed Sedgewick to the Supreme Court of Canada on 18 February 1893, a position he was to hold until his death in 1906.
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