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

News Release

January 19, 2018 – 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.

Jasvinder S. (Bill) Basran, Regional Director General and Senior General Counsel with Justice Canada, is appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver. He replaces Madam Justice B. Fisher, who was appointed to the Court of Appeal of British Columbia on September 14, 2017.

Biography

Justice Jasvinder S. (Bill) Basran holds degrees in commerce (1989) and law (1994) from the University of Saskatchewan. After articling with Campney & Murphy in Vancouver, he was admitted to the British Columbia bar in 1995. He then joined the Department of Justice Canada in Vancouver, where he practised primarily in the area of tax litigation and appeared before the Tax Court of Canada, the Federal Court, and the Federal Court of Appeal. 

In 2004, Justice Basran became General Counsel and Director of the B.C. Tax Law Section of the Department of Justice. In this capacity, he was responsible for federal civil tax litigation in British Columbia and managed a group of over 60 lawyers and staff. He was also a member of the National Tax Board of Directors.

In 2007, Justice Basran was appointed Regional Director General of the B.C. Regional Office of the Department of Justice. He was responsible for more than 400 employees who provided litigation and advisory services. From 2007 to 2016, he was a member of the Department of Justice Executive Committee, and he was a member of the National Litigation Sector’s Board of Directors from 2016 until his appointment.  

Justice Basran helped launch the Department’s National Mentoring Program and was the Department’s Champion for Visible Minorities for almost a decade. He was also instrumental in creating and developing the first Pro Bono Program at the Department of Justice, which currently consists of nine legal clinics in eight cities across Canada. In 2012, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work on this initiative. Since 2003, Justice Basran has volunteered with various amateur sports organizations as a coach and board member, and he has been a Director of the Access Pro Bono Society of British Columbia since 2014.

Justice Basran travels extensively, plays golf badly, and enjoys time with close family and friends. 

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

Quick Facts

  • In 2017, the Minister of Justice made 100 appointments and elevations – the most a Minister of Justice has made in one year in at least two decades.
  • 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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