Government of Canada announces judicial appointment to the Federal Court

News Release

November 9, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada  

The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointment 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.

Sébastien Grammond, a professor in the Civil Law Section of the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, is appointed a judge of the Federal Court. He replaces Mr. Justice S.B. Noël, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective September 1, 2017.

Biography

Mr. Justice Sébastien Grammond was, until his appointment, a professor of the Civil Law Section of the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, where he was also a former dean. He has authored or co-authored six books and numerous articles about Aboriginal law, constitutional law, and contracts. His research dealt with the legal recognition of Indigenous identity, Indigenous legal systems, and contractual justice.

After studies in engineering, Justice Grammond obtained an LL.B. and an LL.M. from the Université de Montréal, as well as a doctorate in law from the University of Oxford. He clerked for Chief Justice Antonio Lamer of the Supreme Court of Canada. He then practised law with Byers Casgrain (now Dentons Canada) in Montreal and continued to practise in parallel to his academic career. A member of the Quebec and Ontario bars, he argued several major constitutional and civil law cases before the Supreme Court of Canada and many other cases before trial and appellate courts.

Justice Grammond’s pro bono advocacy led to a historic judgment of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal dealing with the discriminatory underfunding of child welfare services in First Nations communities, as well as legislative reforms regarding child welfare, customary adoption, and the rights of victims of sexual assault. He received the Quebec Bar Merit Award, the Mundell Medal and the Ontario Bar Association President’s Award. He is also a member of the Royal Society of Canada.

Justice Grammond and his spouse have two children.

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


Quick Facts

  • Budget 2017 includes 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 have been 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.

  • 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. Sixteen Judicial Advisory Committees have been reconstituted to date.

  • This process is separate from the Supreme Court of Canada judicial appointment process currently under way. Nominees to the Supreme Court of Canada are selected by the Prime Minister from a thoroughly vetted list of candidates.

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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