Friday, May 8, 2009

Sad, Sad, Sad



Yesterday, the field of judicial innovation lost one of its leading lights. Judge Hugh Stansfield, chief judge of British Columbia in Canada passed away after a long battle with cancer. I didn't know Hugh well, but what I did know impressed me greatly. He visited New York several times as part of his efforts to bring a community court to Vancouver. In my conversations with him, Hugh was serious and thoughtful about his work but quick to laugh at the absurdities of life. He was possessed of enormous energy, charm and charisma. So much so, that I sought him out a few months ago and asked him to appear at an event that we helped organize at the New York Times on the future of community justice. Although he eagerly agreed to participate, Hugh had to cancel at the last minute when his health took a turn for the worse. It was the last I heard from him. He will be missed.