Pressure mounting to change name of UNB law faculty building

The exterior of Ludlow Hall at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, N.B., is shown on Wednesday, October 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kevin Bissett)

Pressure is mounting to have the University of New Brunswick remove George Duncan Ludlow's name from its law faculty building in Fredericton because of his connections to slavery.

And now Ludlow's portrait has been quietly removed from the building's lobby.

It's unclear who removed the painting, but faculty members say it was removed without any discussion.

Questions directed to the office of John Kleefeld, dean of the law faculty, were not answered.

Instead he issued a statement saying the university's president, Paul Mazerolle, is establishing a working group to explore the university's naming conventions.

Ludlow was New Brunswick's first chief justice, but he was also one of the last judges in the British Empire to uphold the legality of slavery, and his father, Gabriel Ludlow, was a slave trader.

Law professor, Nicole O'Byrne says students have been raising questions about the Ludlow name on the building for the last few years, but the student union is now calling for its removal.

O'Byrne says she's concerned the name could be erased without using the opportunity to explain the history of slavery in the Maritimes.