The Honourable Désiré Girouard

Désiré Girouard was born in Saint-Timothée, Lower Canada (Quebec), on July 7, 1836. He was the son of Jérémie Girouard and Hyppolite Picard. After graduating from the Petit Séminaire de Montréal, he went to McGill University in 1857 to study law. While a law student, he completed his mandatory apprenticeship in the law office of Edward Carter. In 1860 he graduated with a B.C.L., was called to the bar and settled in Montreal. A prolific writer, he published an important legal text just before his call to the bar, entitled Essai sur les lettres de change et les billets promissoires, and he was, in 1871, one of the founding editors of the Revue critique de législation et de jurisprudence du Canada. He continued to write throughout his career, producing several works on history and genealogy. He entered politics and was a member of Parliament for 17 years, until 1895, making his mark as the sponsor of a law that permitted a man to marry his deceased wife's sister. At the municipal level, he became mayor of Dorval, Quebec, in 1892. He was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada on September 28, 1895, and he served on the Court for 15 years. Justice Girouard died on March 22, 1911, at the age of 74.