UBC was saddened by the passing of one its most distinguished faculty members, Dr. Charles Bourne, on June 25, 2012. Dr. Bourne completed a B.A. from the University of Toronto in 1945, an LL.M. from Cambridge in 1947 and an S.J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1970. After several years at the University of Saskatchewan (College of Law), he moved to UBC in 1950 to join Dean George Curtis at the rapidly expanding law school. In 1957, Dr. Bourne was named a full professor. Dr. Bourne taught at UBC until 1986, when he retired and was named Professor Emeritus.
During his academic career, Dr. Bourne became a world renowned scholar in the areas of water resources law and the law of the sea. His expertise in international jurisprudence stood him in good stead as he served his country and profession in numerous leadership roles, including president of the Canadian British International Law Association from 1961 to 1964; Academic-in-Residence of the Legal Bureau at the Department of External Affairs in Ottawa from 1971 to 1972; president of the Canadian Council of International Law from 1978 to 1980; member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague from 1978 to 1984; advisor to the International Joint Commission in Ottawa; and Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Yearbook of International Law. Dr. Bourne was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1979 and in 1986 was awarded the John E. Read medal by the Canadian Council for International Law.
Dr. Bourne served UBC as a member of the UBC Senate and as a special advisor to the President from 1975 to 1986. In recognition of his long-standing service to UBC, the university bestowed upon Dr. Bourne an honorary doctor of laws degree in 1993. Most recently, Dr. Bourne was recognized by the UBC Law Alumni Association with the Alumni Award for Research at its 2011 Awards Dinner.