Justice David Stratas


Justice David Stratas attended elementary and high school in Scarborough, Ontario. In 1984, he obtained his LL.B. from Queen's University. From 1984-1986, he attended Balliol College, Oxford University, obtaining his B.C.L., with first class standing. Then he served as a law clerk to the Honourable Justice Bertha Wilson, the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court of Canada.

Justice Stratas practised law in Toronto from 1988-2009, primarily in the areas of administrative and constitutional law. During that time, he acted as counsel in many high profile matters in all courts, including 12 appeals in the Supreme Court of Canada.

While practising law, Justice Stratas earned a reputation as one of the best counsel in Canada. The Chambers Global Guide described him as a "tremendously hard worker," "meticulously prepared" and "a creative force," with "ideas you'd never think of." The annual Lexpert Survey consistently rated him as "repeatedly recommended" by other counsel. Up until his appointment to the judiciary, he appeared in every edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada.

In 2008, Justice Stratas was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of a select number of Canadian counsel to receive that honour. In that same year, the federal Minister of Justice appointed him to the roster of Special Advocates who, upon court appointment, act independently of government to protect the interests of persons facing allegations in closed national security proceedings.


In 2009, Justice Stratas was appointed directly to the Federal Court of Appeal. That Court, based in Ottawa, is the world's most itinerant appellate court, holding hearings in eighteen major Canadian cities. It reviews decisions of the Federal Court, the Tax Court of Canada and over 2,500 federal boards, tribunals and other decision-makers. It issues judgments in constitutional, administrative and regulatory law, intellectual property law, tax law, immigration law, national security law, aboriginal law, and human rights law, to name a few.

Since his appointment, he has served as a member of the Rules Committee for the Federal Courts. In 2011-2012 he chaired a subcommittee conducting a once-a-decade global review of the Federal Courts Rules. The Rules Committee unanimously accepted the 29 recommendations of that subcommittee, many of which offer never-before-tried solutions to problems of self-represented litigants and access to justice.


In 2011, the Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulators awarded Justice Stratas its SOAR Medal for "consistent outstanding service and achievement" and "exceptional leadership dedicated to advancing excellence in the field of administrative justice above and beyond the successful completion of day-to-day responsibilities."

In 2012, Justice Stratas was appointed to the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada. Also in that year he received an honorary doctorate of laws from Queen's University.


In August 2015, Canadian Lawyer magazine named Justice Stratas one of the top 25 most influential players in Canadian law. This was based on a survey in June 2015 in which 9,105 people participated and commented on those who they thought made their mark over the last 18 months. Among other things, survey respondents described him as "the greatest administrative law jurist of our age," "the only one going deep into doctrine, making sense of it all," "thoughtful, scholarly, practical, and so hard working," and the author of "plain speaking decisions" that "have a real impact" and "hammer the important points home." He has also been described as "a sparkling writer" with an "engaging personality" and a "constitutional expert with...a prodigious work ethic and an encyclopedic knowledge of the law."

From 1994 to the present, Justice Stratas has been a sessional lecturer at Queen's University law school, winning a total of ten teaching awards. He has received other awards for his contributions to mentoring and the administrative law and regulatory community.


He has spoken at over 120 conferences and has authored approximately 140 articles, papers and commentaries, primarily in the areas of constitutional law, administrative law, regulatory law, and legal writing.



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