Dr. Gaylen A. Duncan (1948-2008)

Today’s Globe and Mail carried an announcement of the death of Gaylen Duncan, whom many Slaw readers will recall as the dynamic Executive Director of the Canadian Law Information Council.

He was a witty, passionate, charming, brilliant pioneer, schooled by Michael Kirby (still in Halifax then) in the dark arts of making things happen. CLIC brought together lawyers, librarians, publishers and government – Gaylen was skilled in making us all share in his vision of what might be possible in a world where legal practice was empowered by technology and universal access to legal information.

The history of CLIC has yet to be written, but the key figures who made the organization so effective for its times were Gordon F. Henderson QC, and Gaylen, who was the Executive Director during key years.

After CLIC, Gaylen went on to CHMC, and then for the seven years of the tech transformation he was President of the Information Technology Association of Canada. He was a member of the National Research Council’s Advisory Committee on the Industrial Research Assistance program, a member of the Round Table on E-Business Opportunities and co-chair of the Conference Board Advisory Council on Canadian Connections.

You can get a sense of Gaylen from some of his speeches.

His doctoral thesis was on Canadian business and economic implications of protecting computer programmes, made all the more remarkable for the fact that it had been written thirty years ago.

We hail him as a true pioneer. Our condolences to his family. The memorial service is on Sunday – details in the Globe.



  1. Jean-Charles Raby

    J’ai connu Gaylen lorsqu’il était Sr. VP à la SCHL (CMHC). Il était un leader naturel, brillant et inspirant. Je veux dire combien il était un vrai homme de très grand talent qui sera manqué par beaucoup de gens.