Vincent Del Buono (Glendon B.A. 1972) passed away peacefully with his family by his side on April 13th, 2010 at the age of 60. “Those who knew Vince Del Buono will be deeply saddened by the news of his sudden death”, said Glendon Principal Kenneth McRoberts in his message to the Glendon community. “As well as being a distinguished public servant, both in Canada and internationally, Vince was a most loyal Glendon alum. Among his many contributions, he played an instrumental role in establishing the School of Public & International Affairs.”
Del Buono was born in 1949 in Casacalenda, Italy and immigrated to Canada at the age of four (though he retained close ties to his ancestral home, and remained fiercely proud of his Italian heritage). Raised in the Toronto neighbourhood of St. Clair and the Junction, and educated at Glendon College and the University of Toronto (MA 1975, LLM 1976), Vince was called to the bar in Alberta and went on to a distinguished international career in the fields of criminal law reform, justice, security and human rights.
Del Buono had spent a decade as Senior Counsel with the Law Reform Commission of Canada and the Department of Justice, and was founding President of both the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law and the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy in Vancouver. During the 1990’s, he played senior roles at the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime in Vienna, and with the U.N.’s peacekeeping mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He also served as Deputy Secretary-General of Amnesty International in London.
From 2002 to 2007, he led the British Council’s Access to Justice program in Nigeria, for which work he was honoured by investiture into the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. (He was equally proud of his traditional Nigerian titles: The King’s Law Maker and The Emir’s Chief Mediator.) Most recently, he had returned to Canada after many years abroad, and having settled into an idyllic lakeside home at Niagara-on-the-Lake was active as CEO of the Niagara 1812 Bicentennial Legacy Council.
Over the years, Vince held academic appointments at McGill University, the Universities of Ottawa and British Columbia, Southwestern School of Law in Los Angeles, and the State University of New York at Buffalo. He retained particularly close ties with York University (where he was a Visiting Scholar and an ongoing Senior Fellow of the Glendon School of Public and International Affairs), and with Massey College at the University of Toronto (where he had been Don of Hall as a graduate student, and more recently was an inaugural recipient of the Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson Laureateship in Public Service). Vincent had a profound positive impact on numerous institutions and individuals.
He was passionately committed to the cause of human rights, which for him was not just a theoretical concept, but a living reality. He maintained a wide network of close contacts around the world, whom he touched for good in countless ways – both public and private – and who continue to cherish his wisdom, insight, compassion and humour.
Vincent's family will receive friends at the Morley Bedford Funeral Services, 159 Eglinton Ave West, Toronto, on Friday April 16 from 4 P.M. to 8 P.M. A funeral Liturgy will be held at the Newman Centre, St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church, 50 Hoskin Avenue, Toronto, Saturday, April 17th at 10:30 A.M. A Memorial Service will be held in St. Catharines at the Unitarian Congregation of Niagara, 223 Church St. on May 2, 2010 at 2 pm. If desired, memorial donations can be made to Amnesty International or the Terry Fox Foundation and would be appreciated by the family.