Gordon Martin

Class of 1948

Gordon Martin graduated as a member of the first class of the law school at UBC, completed his articles and appeared to fulfill all of the requirements for admission to the bar of British Columbia. His application was controversially rejected by the Law Society of British Columbia “based on the finding that [he was] a communist and an adherent to and a supporter of communist doctrines and teachings..." This ostensibly violated the requirement of being "a person of good repute within the meaning of the Legal Professions Act, R.S.B.C. 1936, c. 149".

The decision sparked protests at the time, and has gained increasing condemnation in the decades since. A formal apology was posthumously issued to Gordon Martin by the Law Society in 1998, but the damage was already done. A promising legal career was permanently quashed for purely political purposes.

For more information, see: W. Wesley Pue, Law School: The Story of Legal Education in British Columbia (Vancouver: University of British Columbia, Faculty of Law, 1995). [Call Number: KE289 .P83 1995 (LC)]