OBA Award of Excellence in Criminal Justice

2021 Award Recipient

Jody Berkes

Jody Berkes 
Berkes Law

The OBA Criminal Justice Section is pleased to announce Jody Berkes, Berkes Law as the recipient of the 2021 OBA Award for Excellence in Criminal Justice.

View Jody Berkes Biography


About the Award

The award recognizes outstanding contribution to the advancement of criminal law.  The recipient shall demonstrate leadership in the criminal law bar through knowledge, experience, skill, commitment, passion, strength of character, and all or some of the following:

  • Contribution to legal education and professional development including, but not limited to, lecturing at law schools, participation in continuing legal education programs, and academic or professional writing
  • Participation in the OBA Criminal Justice Section Executive or Law Society of Ontario on criminal law matters
  • Leadership in the criminal justice bar by acting as a role model and mentor for new members of the profession and to his or her peers
  • Contribution to the community through pro bono work or other projects or initiatives
  • Contribution as counsel or as a judge to the development of the criminal law legislative framework


The following are standard criteria and must apply to the award:

  1. There is one criminal justice section award.
  2. An eligible candidate must be an OBA Member in good standing.
  3. An eligible candidate cannot be a member of the current executive, or the OBA Board of Directors.

Nomination Procedure:

  1. A candidate must be nominated by 2 OBA members.
  2. The nominators must submit a paragraph of a maximum 1000 words outlining why they feel the candidate deserves the award.
  3. The nomination must be accompanied by a copy of the nominee’s CV and a list of publications.
  4. The nomination may be accompanied by up to 5 supporting letters.

Selection Process:

  1. The selection committee will consist of the
    1. immediate past chair(s)
    2. chair(s)
    3. vice-chair(s), and
    4. a member outside of the GTA
  2. The selection committee will set the deadline for nominations each year.
  3. The selection committee may decide not to give the award in a given year.

Additional Information

Eava-Kay McKnight
PD Client Services Coordinator
1(800) 668-8900 or (416) 869-1047 ext. 347

Previous Award Winner

  • 2020 - Brock Jones, Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General
  • 2019 - Miriam Henry, Ministry of the Attorney General
  • 2018 - Michal Sokolski, Crown Attorney for Niagara North
  • 2017 - Enzo Rondinelli, Lafontaine & Associates