About This Book

The book provides a glimpse behind the actions and decisions of a man whose professional life has affected all Canadians; a look at his origins, family life and the forces that shaped the man who in turn helped shape our lives.

This biography began through an ongoing curiosity about my maternal grandfather, Patrick Grandcourt Kerwin. From my perspective as a child, he was a kind and attentive grandparent with a warm smile and gentle demeanour.

My grandfather died at the age of 73, when I was only eight years old, but my memories, affection and interest in him continued.

This is his story.

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

is as true today as it ever was.
Chief Justice Patrick Kerwin speaking at the opening of the Superior Court of Québec Montreal, Québec, 1957.

Canada Today Has a Legal System

in which its people could take great satisfaction. Law is not an exact science, but no stone would be left unturned that could possibly interfere with the best possible determination of the rights of man.
Chief Justice Patrick Kerwin as quoted by the Sarnia Daily Observer, October 25, 1957

Courts are Established to Settle Disputes.

Justice Patrick Kerwin in an address to graduating students, Osgoode Hall, Toronto, 1950.

Students of Law Must be Taught

not merely what the professor knows, but they must be trained to think for themselves.

Address by the Chief Justice at the University of New Brunswick – Honourary Degree of Laws, Saint John, October 15, 1954


We had a wonderful book launch for the book, 'Grace and Wisdom', at the Supreme Court of Canada.

The launch was held in the Great Hall at the Supreme Court on May 8th, 2018 to great success

The author spoke about the book and process then the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada, Mr. Roger Bilodeau, spoke.

Guests were offered wine and canapées throughout the evening along with books signed by the author.


Had a wonderful time at Prospero Books on June 14/18. The shoppers and staff were interested, helpful and we sold some books as well. 

This book signing happened in the heart of downtown Ottawa, near where those interested in Canadian history and law can meet and discuss this captivating story, ‘Grace and Wisdom’.

Books are available on this website and at the following bookstores in Ottawa and elsewhere:

Books on Beechwood
Chapters Rideau
Coles at Billing Bridge Plaza
Octopus Books
Prospero Books
Perfect Books
The Book Keeper (Sarnia)
Book City Danforth (Toronto)
Book City Beaches (Toronto)
Old Niagara Book Shop (Niagara-on-the-Lake)
The Bookshelf (Guelph)
Wordsworth Book (Waterloo)
Shelf Life Books (Calgary)

Send a review of the book to contact@chiefjusticekerwin.ca.


Stephen G. McKenna

The author of this biography undertook the task ensuring his grandfather’s story was captured for posterity.

Having contributed articles to the media about his grandfather, Stephen continues to tell the story of a great Canadian in this book: Chief Justice Patrick Kerwin, a person who dedicated much of his life to the service of all Canadians.

The tale is told about his maternal grandfather’s career and the life he lived with his family as he climbed to the pinnacle of his profession. Stephen has also brought the personal side of his storied life by including family anecdotes and pictures never before seen in public.
With other stories to be told, Stephen will be publishing more of his work in the near future. As an author, musician and producer living in Ottawa, Ontario, he has numerous interests, including writing, music, recording, research, and travel.



Grace & Wisdom in the media

To read recent articles about CJ Kerwin, please select the following links
SL stands for Canada's online Legal Magazine, SLAW