The Walter S. Owen Chair in Law, the first endowed Chair at the Faculty of Law, was established in honour of the Honourable Walter S. Owen, O.C., Q.C., LL.D., K. St. J., one of Vancouver’s most prominent lawyers, business people and philanthropists. Among his many services to the legal profession and the public, he was President of the Canadian Bar Association (1958-59), Treasurer of the Law Society of British Columbia (1964-65), and Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia (1973-78). He died in 1980, and the campaign to fund the Walter S. Owen Chair, which was already underway at that time, culminated in the formal establishment of the Chair in 1982.
Chair incumbents participate in the scholarly life of the Faculty, and give a public lecture as an expression of the Faculty’s wish to commemorate Mr. Owen, and to thank those whose contributions enabled the Chair to be endowed. The Walter S. Owen Chair has been occupied by distinguished and internationally recognized scholars and jurists, including, Professor Jacob S. Ziegel, University of Toronto; The Hon. N.T. Nemetz, Q.C., former Chief Justice of British Columbia; Professor Christine Boyle, Dalhousie University; Professor Ann Scales, University of New Mexico; Professor Daniel Nsereko, University of Botswana; Professor Richard Weisberg, Cardozo School of Law; Professor Robert F.V. Heuston, Trinity College, Dublin; Professor Peter B. Carter, Fellow of Wadham College, Oxford; Professor Michael L. Crommelin, University of Melbourne; Professor Janet Chan, University of South Wales; and Professor Stuart Scheingold, University of Washington.