TORONTO -- Toronto's police chief has appointed a retired Supreme Court justice well versed in public reviews to scrutinize use-of-force policies after another retired judge withdrew from the process earlier this week.

Police Chief Bill Blair said Friday that Frank Iacobucci will now lead the review.

"I am confident that with his extraordinary record of achievement and public service he will provide us with invaluable guidance and advice," Blair said.

"My request to Justice Iacobucci is in the nature of a forward-looking review that will lead to improvements in the policies and procedures that guide our officers, the training that provides them with the skills and competencies to respond effectively and the equipment that will enable them to resolve these critical incidents safely."

Blair is mandated under the Police Services Act to conduct a review following the death of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim, who was shot by police multiple times on an empty streetcar. Const. James Forcillo faces a second-degree murder charge.

But Blair said this review will be "extraordinary" in scope, looking beyond Yatim's case to several other fatal police shootings in recent years and a review of international best practices.

Dennis O'Connor announced on Wednesday that he was pulling out of conducting the review over conflict-of-interest concerns raised by victims' families.

O'Connor was the associate chief justice of Ontario's Appeal Court for 10 years and conducted inquiries into both the Walkerton water tragedy in Ontario and the rendition and torture of Maher Arar, a Canadian of Syrian descent.

He now works for a law firm that also acts for the insurers of the Toronto Police Service in civil suits -- some of which include allegations of excessive and lethal force.

O'Connor said in a statement this week that he thought he could structure the review to satisfy any concerns, but he decided to back out because he did not want the issue to distract from the review.

Blair noted that O'Connor's withdrawal and Iacobucci's subsequent appointment has not delayed the review as the preliminary work for the process has already begun.

"We are moving forward at pace," he said, adding that it will be up to Iacobucci to determine how long the review will take.

Iacobucci was a Supreme Court judge from 1991 until 2004, and has stayed in the public eye since his retirement.

Several years ago, the federal government called on him to oversee an inquiry into torture allegations levelled by three Arab-Canadians. The inquiry concluded in 2008 that Canadian officials were probably at least partly to blame for the torture of the three men while they were imprisoned in Syria and Egypt.

The Ontario government later asked him to look into the lack of First Nations representation on juries. In February, Iacobucci released a report that found aboriginals face "systemic discrimination" when it comes to criminal justice or child services and the courts -- especially in the north.

In July, Iacobucci was appointed Ontario's lead negotiator in talks with the Matawa Tribal Council over resource developments in the province's so-called Ring of Fire region.

The recommendations of Iacobucci's use-of-force review will be made public once his work is complete.

"I think there's an overwhelming recognition this is important," Blair said of the review, which has garnered much attention for its link to Yatim's shooting.

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Toronto in two marches after Yatim's death, which was captured on surveillance and cellphone videos.

Nine shots can be heard on the videos following shouts for Yatim to drop the knife. The final six appear to come after Yatim had already fallen to the floor of the streetcar.