Ronald C. C. Cuming
Distinguished Researcher Award - Spring 1998
Professor Cuming, who is a native of Saskatchewan, holds a BA (1962) and an LLB (1963) from the University of Saskatchewan and an LLM (1966) from Columbia University in New York. He joined the College of Law in 1966. Professor Cuming was appointed Queen's Counsel for Saskatchewan in 1982. He served as Chairperson of the Saskatchewan Law Reform Commission during the period 1978-81.
Professor Cuming is the leading architect of modern secured financing law in Canada. The legislation which he drafted has been adopted in all provinces except Ontario and Quebec. His writings have been frequently cited by the Supreme Court of Canada and lower courts.
He took a disparate mess of laws and registry systems that existed in Saskatchewan and created a single statute that was more efficient and provided better protection for borrowers. It was passed into law in 1981 as the Personal Property Security Act. This became the model that has since been adopted by all provinces except Ontario and Quebec.
An internationally acclaimed scholar in the area of personal property security law, he has published several books and numerous journal articles in national and international publications in the areas of secured financing law, leasing law and bankruptcy law. He has been advisor to the governments of several provinces and the Government of Canada. He has prepared several reports proposing changes to Canadian bankruptcy law.
Professor Cuming's research and reform activities have not been confined to Canada. He has worked extensively at the international level. He drafted secured financing law for the Jordanian Government and Palestine National Authority. He has also served as a technical advisor on World Bank projects in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Georgia, Armenia, and Ukraine, as well as secured financing projects for Bangladesh, Uruguay, Mexico, and Nicaragua. He is highly regarded for his skill and sensitivity in drafting laws that respect the legal traditions of various countries and different cultural concepts of property.
He has represented Canada in international organizations including the Hague Conference on Private International Law, The Hague, Netherlands and the International Institute for the Unification of Private law, Rome, Italy. He has acted as a technical advisor to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, Vienna, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, London, U.K.
He identified the need for and helped draft what promises to be one of the most important trade conventions ever made in a new international convention on security interests involved in the financing of aircraft, satellite, oil drilling and other large equipment that is moved from one country to another. The new convention is likely to be approved by the year 2000. Professor Cuming served as a member of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Arbitration Panel established to consider the validity of Canada's marketing board system.
In 1992-93, Professor Cuming received a teaching excellence award from the University of Saskatchewan Students' Union. Through his research and law reform activities, Professor Cuming has broken new ground and has played an outstanding role in the development of commercial law in Canada and elsewhere.