Sherwood Lett

Sherwood Lett, soldier, lawyer, chief justice of BC (b at Iroquois, Ont 1 Aug 1895; d at Vancouver 2 July 1964).

Sherwood Lett, soldier, lawyer, chief justice of BC (b at Iroquois, Ont 1 Aug 1895; d at Vancouver 2 July 1964). After distinguished service in both world wars Lett was named first Canadian representative (1954-55) on the International Control Commission established under the auspices of the 1954 Geneva Conference to oversee the ceasefire and disengagement of French forces in North Vietnam and the political stabilization of that country. From 1955 until his death he was chief justice of BC. In 1963 he delivered a judgement of considerable constitutional significance when he declared the expropriation of a private company, BC Electric, by the provincial government in its precipitate efforts to set up the giant government-owned BC Hydro and Power Authority, to be ultra vires and therefore illegal. The government was forced to resume negotiations and ultimately purchased BC Electric at a substantially increased price.