The Faculty of Law is saddened by the passing of John W. Durnford, emeritus professor.
John Durnford served as Dean from 1969 to 1974, playing a vital role in the successful implementation of the bilingual National Programme, the first iteration of a curriculum combining the common law and the civil law.
A native Montrealer, Durnford was a two-time graduate of McGill (BA’49, BCL’52). Admitted to the Bar in 1953, he practiced law for several years in Montreal before returning to McGill as an associate professor in 1959. In 1977, he was appointed Sir William C. Macdonald Professor.
A beloved teacher, Prof. Durnford taught a wide range of courses, with an expertise in taxation and special contracts. In the late 1990s, the Law Students’ Association recognized his contributions by renaming its teaching award the John W. Durnford Teaching Excellence Award. In 2017, a classroom was renovated thanks to the generosity of the Classes of 1974, 1975 and 1976; it is now called the John W. Durnford Classroom.
“The Faculty of Law extends its deepest sympathies to the Durnford Family,” said Dean Robert Leckey. “I know from my conversations with our alumni around the world what an impact Professor Durnford had on his students.”
The Faculty invites people to share their thoughts and memories about Prof. Durnford.