Ritchie, Roland A.

Roland A. Ritchie, lawyer, judge (b at Halifax, NS 19 June 1910; d at Ottawa, Ont 5 June 1988), brother of diplomat Charles RITCHIE. Called to the NS Bar in 1934, Ritchie served overseas during WWII following which he returned to Halifax and established a reputation as a leading maritime counsel and part-time lecturer at Dalhousie Law School. In 1959 PM John Diefenbaker appointed Ritchie to the Supreme Court of Canada where he remained a puisne judge and briefly served as acting chief justice in 1982, the first Nova Scotian to occupy the post.

Ritchie is best known for a series of puzzling and somewhat conflicting decisions he wrote regarding the applicability of certain provisions of the CANADIAN BILL OF RIGHTS to the INDIAN ACT, including the DRYBONES CASE and the LAVELL CASE. Ritchie retired from the court on 31 Oct 1984 and was made Companion of the Order of Canada in 1985.