A scholar’s scholar: Queen’s remembers Professor Adell
On September 13, the Queen’s community gathered in Grant Hall to celebrate the life of Professor Bernard “Bernie” Adell. Professor Adell, who passed away over the summer, was remembered for his contributions to Queen’s Law and the field of labour law. In addition to his many scholarly achievements, friends and family remembered Professor Adell’s dedication to those around him and his self-deprecating humour.
The ceremony was attended by approximately 200 of Professor Adell’s friends, colleagues, students, and family. Justice Cromwell of the Supreme Court of Canada was also in attendance.
Over the course of a long and distinguished career, Professor Adell made numerous contributions to the field of labour law. He served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal and was widely regarded as an authority in the field. He was an editor of the national labour law casebook, beginning in 1970 with its first edition. Professor Adell was particularly well known for his expertise in comparative labour law. Professor Bill Flanagan, Dean of Law, called him a “scholar’s scholar.”
In addition to his scholarly work, Professor Adell served for many years as a labour arbitrator. Noting his sense of humour, Professor Kevin Banks, a colleague, remarked that “his greatest achievement as a labour arbitrator was to make his decisions unacceptable to both sides.” On a personal level, Banks praised Adell further saying he had “a tireless drive to leave things better than he found them.”
In recognition for these scholarly achievements, Professor Adell was awarded the 2013 Bora Laskin Award, along with Professor Don Carter. Professor Carter called Adell “the heart and soul of the Queen’s labour law program.”
He had a tremendous impact on the teaching and research of the Queen’s Faculty of Law. Initially appointed to the faculty in 1964, Professor Adell served as Dean of Law from 1977-1982. He was appointed Professor Emeritus in the Faculty in 2004.
During his time at Queen’s Law, Professor Adell made an indelible mark. He served for twenty years as Faculty Advisor to the Queen’s Law Journal. In this role he mentored hundreds of students and had a lasting impact on Canadian legal scholarship. Richard Baldwin, former student and Senior Partner at Mathews Dinsdale & Clark LLP, recalled Adell’s “keen intelligence, penetrating focus on scholarship, [and] ability to motivate excellence in students and colleagues.”
Professor Adell’s contribution to the establishment of the Queen’s Centre for Law in the Contemporary Workplace was also noted.
A Rhodes Scholar, Professor Adell loved the outdoors. Many in attendance shared wry anecdotes about trying to keep up with him while running, hiking or cross-country skiing.
Professor Adell passed away on July 23, while visiting his daughter in Japan. His funeral was held on September 12 at James Reid Funeral Home.
Sheida Rezapour (2L) and Michael Scott (2L) are the News Editors of Juris Diction.
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