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John E. Read Medal Recipient

Edward Lee



Edward Lee was the 2008 Read Medal Recipient.

Past president and long time executive member of the Canadian Council on International Law, Edward (Ted) Lee, QC, earned law degrees from the University of British Columbia and Harvard.  He joined the then-Department of External Affairs in 1956 and served in Djakarta and London, and ultimately as Legal Advisor between 1973-75.  He was Canadian Ambassador to Israel and High Commissioner to Cyprus (1975-79) and Ambassador to South Africa and High Commissioner to Lesotho and Swaziland (1983-86), before returning to serve a second term as Legal Advisor (1986-1990).  He served as Canadian Ambassador to Austria and Permanent Representative to the UN Organizations in Vienna (1990-93).  During his career at External Affairs, Mr. Lee was also Director of Personnel, Assistant Under Secretary for USA Affairs and Assistant Deputy Minister for Legal, Consular & Immigration Affairs.

Remembering Ted Lee


On April 8, 2020, the CCIL sadly lost one of its Honourary Life Member, Edward Graham Lee. Ted was involved in different capacities over the years, including as CCIL President in 1994-1996. In 2008, he was awarded the John Read Medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the cause of international law and organization. A career diplomat, he served Canada for almost 40 years in that capacity. Upon his retirement in 1993, he taught international law at the University of Ottawa, and authored numerous articles published in Canadian law journals.


On behalf of CCIL, we offer our condolences to his family and loved ones.

From his obituary :

Born in Vancouver and educated at the University of British Columbia (B.A., LL.B.) and Harvard (LL.M.). Served as a Flying Officer in RCAF Intelligence 1952-55. Called to the B.C. Bar in 1958 and appointed Queen's Counsel in 1981. Served for 39 years in the Canadian Diplomatic Service in Ottawa, Indonesia, United Kingdom, and as Canadian Ambassador to Israel, South Africa, Austria, and also to the United Nations in Vienna. He served as the Canadian Governor to the International Atomic Energy Agency, as well as High Commissioner to Cyprus, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia. At External Affairs headquarters he served twice as Assistant Deputy Minister for Legal Affairs and at other times as ADM for U.S.A Affairs, Consular and Immigration, and Director of Personnel Operations.

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