Government of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of British Columbia 

News Release

June 14, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada  

The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointments under the new judicial application process announced on October 20, 2016. The new process emphasizes transparency, merit, and diversity, and will continue to ensure the appointment of jurists who meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity. 

Carla L. Forth, Q.C., partner at Guild Yule LLP, is appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver. She replaces Mr. Justice W. Ehrcke, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective July 4, 2016.

Michael Tammen, Q.C., a sole practitioner, is appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver. He replaces Madam Justice C.J. Bruce, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective September 23, 2016.

Warren B. Milman, a partner at McCarthy Tétrault LLP, is appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver. He replaces Madam Justice S.K. Ballance, who elected to retire effective December 31, 2016.

Nitya Iyer, Q.C., a partner at Lovett Westmacott, is appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver. She replaces Mr. Justice K. Bracken (Victoria), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective March 30, 2017. The Chief Justice has transferred Mr. Justice J.J. Steeves (Vancouver) to Victoria, creating a vacancy in Vancouver.

Biographies

Justice Carla L. Forth received her LL.B. in 1983 from the University of British Columbia. In 1985, she was admitted to the British Columbia Bar and joined Guild Yule LLP, where she practised until her appointment to the bench. An experienced litigator, Justice Forth built a practice focusing on professional liability in the medical, legal, and education fields. Her work also included disability insurance litigation, municipal liability, and building envelope and construction cases. In addition, Justice Forth has extensive experience and training in mediation. She earned an LL.M. specializing in health law from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2012, and was appointed Queen’s Counsel that same year.

Throughout her career, Justice Forth has devoted time, energy, and enthusiasm to teaching and mentorship. She frequently speaks at conferences hosted by the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia and other institutions. Having benefitted from strong mentorship in her own career, Justice Forth has been an active mentor to others. In 2015, she received the Debra Van Ginkel, Q.C. Mentoring Award from the B.C. Branch of the Canadian Bar Association in recognition of the support, encouragement, and inspiration she has offered to younger lawyers over the years.

Excerpts from Justice Forth’s judicial application will be made available shortly.

Justice Michael Tammen practised law for over 28 years. In that time, he conducted trials and appeals in all courts in British Columbia and was counsel on some of the most high-profile criminal cases in the province. Known primarily for his work as a criminal lawyer, both for the defence and the prosecution, Justice Tammen also practised civil litigation and administrative law. Born and raised in Burnaby to working-class parents, Justice Tammen was the first member of his extended family to obtain a university degree. He attended the University of British Columbia and articled at the small litigation firm of Robertson Peck Thompson, then worked as a Crown prosecutor before returning to private practice. He was a partner of Richard Peck, Q.C., in the firm of Peck and Tammen until 1999, and after that practised as a sole practitioner.

Justice Tammen been a staunch supporter of legal education, including participating as an ad hoc instructor at the UBC McEachern Advocacy Course since its inception in 1999. His practice has included pro bono work for those who could not afford legal fees. He represented the B.C. Civil Liberties Association in the public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Frank Paul, and has done work for the B.C. Police Complaint Commissioner since 2010. Justice Tammen was added to the list of B.C. special prosecutors in 2009 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2013.

Married with four children, Justice Tammen has learned at the family dinner table the importance of active listening, even in the midst of chaos. 

Excerpts from Justice Tammen’s judicial application will be made available shortly.

Justice Warren B. Milman practised litigation with the Vancouver office of McCarthy Tétrault LLP for 24 years, with a focus on insolvency, commercial litigation, class actions defence, and constitutional law. In the course of his practice, he also acted on many occasions for both for the Crown and for the defence in criminal and regulatory prosecutions.

Justice Milman came to the law after earning a B.A. from McGill University and pursuing graduate studies in classical archaeology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem from 1985 to 1988. He obtained his LL.B. and B.C.L. from McGill University in 1992. Justice Milman was called to the British Columbia Bar in 1993 and admitted to the State Bar of California in that same year.

In addition to his private practice, Justice Milman has devoted a substantial part of his career to promoting meaningful access to justice for ordinary Canadians. He has taken on numerous pro bono cases before courts and regulatory tribunals. In addition, Justice Milman served as chair of Pro Bono Law of British Columbia, both prior to and during the organization’s merger with the Access Justice Society to form Access Pro Bono in 2010. He was appointed a governor of the Law Foundation of British Columbia in 2010 and served as chair of its board of governors in 2015 and 2016.

Excerpts from Justice Milman’s judicial application can be accessed at the following link.

Justice Nitya Iyer started her legal career as a law professor, teaching constitutional law, administrative law, and family law at the University of Toronto and then at the University of British Columbia. She left teaching to become a member of the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal and went on to private practice, most recently with Lovett Westmacott. She has been the Equal Pay Commissioner for the Northwest Territories since 2004. Her work on equality and human rights has influenced the interpretation of human rights codes and the equality provisions of the Charter. She has appeared before all levels of court in British Columbia and the Supreme Court of Canada.

Soon after she was born in Mumbai, India, Justice Iyer’s family immigrated to Canada.  After law school, she clerked at the Supreme Court of Canada and earned a graduate degree at Harvard University. Volunteering has been a constant throughout her life. She has served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations, represented individuals and groups in test-case equality litigation, and participated in many continuing education initiatives, speaking and teaching about decision writing, human rights law, and administrative law. She was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of her volunteer work in 2012 and became a Queen’s Counsel in 2016.

Excerpts from Justice Iyer’s judicial application will be made available shortly.

Quick Facts

  • Budget 2017 proposes additional funding of $55 million over five years beginning in 2017-2018 and $15.5 million per year thereafter for 28 new federally appointed judges. Of these new positions, 12 would be allotted to Alberta and one to the Yukon, with the remaining 15 being assigned to a pool for needs in other jurisdictions.
  • To ensure a judiciary that is responsive, ethical and sensitive to the evolving needs of Canadian society, the Canadian Judicial Council will receive $2.7 million over five years and $0.5 million ongoing thereafter. This will support programming on judicial education, ethics and conduct, including in relation to gender and cultural sensitivity.
  • Today’s appointments are separate from the Budget 2017 announcement.
  • Federal judicial appointments are made by the Governor General, acting on the advice of the federal Cabinet and recommendations from the Minister of Justice.
  • The Judicial Advisory Committees across Canada play a key role in evaluating judicial applications. There are 17 Judicial Advisory Committees, with each province and territory represented.
  • Significant reforms to the role and structure of the Judicial Advisory Committees, aimed at enhancing the independence and transparency of the process, were announced on October 20, 2016.
  • The Judicial Advisory Committees in ten jurisdictions have been reconstituted. Most recently, Minister Wilson-Raybould announced the composition of three new Judicial Advisory Committees on April 13, 2017.
  • This process is separate from the Supreme Court of Canada judicial appointment process announced on August 2, 2016. Nominees to the Supreme Court of Canada are selected by the Prime Minister from a thoroughly vetted list of candidates.

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Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Kathleen Davis

Communications and Parliamentary Affairs Advisor

Office of the Minister of Justice

613-992-4621

 

Media Relations

Department of Justice Canada

613-957-4207

media@justice.gc.ca


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