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

News Release

December 19, 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.

Francesca Marzari, a partner at Young Anderson Barristers and Solicitors, is appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. She replaces Madam Justice V. Gray, who resigned effective August 31, 2017.

Biography

Justice Francesca Marzari joined the municipal law boutique Young Anderson in 1998, where she was a partner until her appointment. There she specialized in administrative law; her other areas of practice included constitutional division of powers, human rights, tort liability, environmental law, judicial review, freedom of information and planning law. A trusted advisor, Justice Marzari carried on an active litigation practice, appearing before all levels of court in British Columbia, as well as the Supreme Court of Canada.

Throughout her career, Justice Marzari has dedicated herself to improving the accessibility and inclusiveness of laws and institutions. She contributed to the equality work of West Coast LEAF (Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund) as a board member and as pro bono counsel. She represented West Coast LEAF before the Supreme Court of Canada in the landmark decision Trial Lawyers Association v. British Columbia (Attorney General), which recognized a constitutional foundation for access to justice. She was well-known as an advocate for improved and equal access to justice as a volunteer with the Canadian Bar Association – British Columbia.

After completing her law degree at the University of British Columbia, Justice Marzari clerked at the British Columbia Court of Appeal. She has been a regular lecturer at Allard School of Law and Capilano University, as well as a frequent contributor to continuing legal education programs.

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

Quick Facts

  • Today’s announcements bring the total number of judicial appointments this year to 100, the most a Minister of Justice has made in one year in over a decade. 

  • Of these appointees, half are women, four are Indigenous, and 16 have self-identified as a member of a visible minority population, LGBTQ2, or a person with a disability. 

  • 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. 

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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