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John Sims

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Former deputy minister of justice and deputy attorney general of Canada
Government of Canada

    John H. Sims, Q.C. is a former deputy minister of justice and deputy attorney general of Canada, a position he held for five years until his retirement in the spring of 2010\. 
    Mr. Sims joined the Department of Justice in 1977 after four years in private practice.  He has had broad experience as a senior lawyer to government, advising on subjects as diverse as transportation and employment law, war crimes and national security, immigration and constitutional law, aboriginal justice, and the Charter.  He has also been a civil litigator before courts and tribunals at all levels.

    As deputy minister, he advised ministers and the Cabinet on some of the government's most complex and sensitive policy and operational priorities.  He also oversaw a department responsible for providing all legal service to the Government of Canada, and for developing policy in areas such as criminal law reform, child-centred family justice, and public safety and security.

    Mr. Sims has represented Canada in such international fora as G8 committees and the United Nations Human Rights Commission.  In 2010, the prime minister presented Mr. Sims with the Outstanding Achievement Award of the Public Service of Canada.  As well, he is the recipient of the John Tait Award of Excellence given by the Canadian Bar Association (CBA).

    Since leaving the public service, Mr. Sims has taken part in a number of projects, including one with the CBA in Nepal on the development of a new democratic constitution.  He is also the vice-chair of the CBA Committee on Access to Justice, and the ad hoc privacy commissioner and the ad hoc information commissioner for Canada.  Mr. Sims earned a bachelor of arts (honours) in history and economics and a bachelor of laws from Queen's University.