On 13 November 2012 Lord Hoffmann spoke at a reception in Toronto, hosted by Sir Ivor Crewe, the Master of University College and Simon Chester (University College, 1968) and attended by over 70 lawyers. Lord Hoffmann spoke in typically witty and spirited fashion on the Tort Liability of Public Authorities in Canada and the UK, defending the House of Lords’ departure from Anns v Merton London Borough Council [1978] A.C. 728, in Murphy v. Brentwood District Council [1991] 1 AC 398, and questioning why Canada’s courts had clung so long to the rejected Anns orthodoxy.



Among the audience were former Justice Michel Bastarache of the Supreme Court of Canada, who had sat on some of the Canadian decisions continuing to apply Anns (such as Edwards v. Law Society of Upper Canada, 2001 SCC 80 (CanLII), [2001] 3 SCR 562, http://canlii.ca/t/51xf    and Cooper v. Hobart, 2001 SCC 79 (CanLII), [2001] 3 SCR 537, http://canlii.ca/t/51xc) and Justice Robert Sharpe of the Ontario Court of Appeal (Magdalen College, 1973) who had himself applied the test in Ingles v. Tutkaluk Construction Ltd.,1998 CanLII 1036 (ON CA), http://canlii.ca/t/6gt4) and Williams v. Ontario, 2009 ONCA 378 (CanLII), http://canlii.ca/t/23gvq.  

Other guests included former Associate Chief Justice John Morden, former Justice Maurice Cullity (Wadham College, 1958), former Justice James Farley (Oriel College 1962) and the Treasurer of the Law Society of Upper Canada, Thomas Conway, the President of King’s College in Nova Scotia, George Cooper (University College, 1965), the President of the Advocates Society, Peter Griffin and the former President of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, Graeme Mew.