Mr. Justice Stratas was educated at Queen's University, earning an LL.B. in 1984 and Oxford University, earning a B.C.L. in 1986.
He has served on the Federal Court of Appeal since 2009 and the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada since 2012. He then returned to Canada and clerked for Justice Bertha Wilson of the Supreme Court of Canada. He proceeded to practise law as a litigator at Toronto law firms, including Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt and Heenan Blaikie.
While practising law, Justice Stratas earned a reputation as one of the best counsel in Canada. The Chambers Global Guide described him as a "tremendously hard worker," "meticulously prepared" and "a creative force," with "ideas you'd never think of." The annual Lexpert Survey consistently rated him as "repeatedly recommended" by other counsel. Up until his appointment to the judiciary, he appeared in every edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada.
In 2008, Justice Stratas was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of a select number of Canadian counsel to receive that honour. In that same year, the federal Minister of Justice appointed him as a Special Advocate, a lawyer who, upon court appointment, acts independently of government to protect the interests of persons facing allegations in closed national security proceedings. Before his appointment directly to the Federal Court of Appeal, Justice Stratas published over 110 conference papers and articles.
From 1994 until his appointment to the bench in 2009, he served as an adjunct professor at Queen's Law School, winning eight teaching awards. He continues to serve as an adjunct professor, teaching a course in legal writing and written advocacy with Justice Thomas Cromwell of the Supreme Court of Canada. He continues to speak and present papers at conferences on topics such as administrative law, regulatory law and legal writing.
In June 2012, Justice Stratas received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Queen's University. In August 2015, Canadian Lawyer magazine named Justice Stratas one of the top 25 most influential players in Canadian law. This was based on a survey in June 2015 in which 9,105 people participated and commented on those who they thought made their mark over the last 18 months.
Among other things, survey respondents described him as "the greatest administrative law jurist of our age," "the only one going deep into doctrine, making sense of it all," "thoughtful, scholarly, practical, and so hard working," and the author of "plain speaking decisions" that "have a real impact" and "hammer the important points home." He has also been described as "a sparkling writer" with an "engaging personality" and a "constitutional expert with...a prodigious work ethic and an encyclopedic knowledge of the law.".