Government of Canada announces judicial appointment in the province of British Columbia
June 15, 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.
Geoffrey B. Gomery, Q.C., a partner at Nathanson Schachter & Thompson is appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver. He replaces Mr. Justice B.M. Greyell, who retired effective November 24, 2017.
Justice Geoffrey Gomery was born in Montreal, and raised in Montreal and Halifax. Upon receiving his LL.B. from the University of Toronto in 1983, he moved to Vancouver, where he articled and later practised law with Davis & Company. He was called to the bar of British Columbia in 1984. He joined Nathanson, Schachter & Thompson LLP in 1990 and became a partner in 1992. In 2005, he took a leave of absence from his firm to pursue post-graduate studies at Oxford University, graduating with a Bachelor of Civil Law. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2010 and became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in 2018.
Justice Gomery’s practice focused on commercial and administrative litigation, including class actions, pension litigation, commercial arbitration, professional discipline, shareholder disputes and securities matters. He has appeared before all levels of court in British Columbia, before the courts of four other provinces, the Federal Court of Canada, and the Supreme Court of Canada.
Since 2012, he has served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia, teaching a course he created on the law of restitution. In addition, he has taught more than 30 continuing legal education courses, as well as chaired continuing legal education programs on restitution. He has also served as an instructor in the trial advocacy course at the UBC law school.
Justice Gomery’s volunteer activities have included clinic work for the Access Pro Bono Society of British Columbia, serving as an officer of the Canadian Hostelling Association (British Columbia Region), and acting in various roles with the Unitarian Church of Vancouver.
Justice Gomery is married to artist Louise Bunn. They have two grown children and recently acquired an Australian Shepherd puppy. He bicycles to work and has been learning to play the violin since 2001.
Excerpts from Justice Gomery’s judicial application are available.
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.
The Government of Canada is committed to promoting access to justice for all Canadians. To improve outcomes for Canadian families, Budget 2018 proposes $77.2 million over four years to support the expansion of unified family courts, beginning in 2019-2020. This investment in the family justice system will create 39 new judicial positions in Alberta, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
In addition, Budget 2018 proposes funding for a further seven judicial positions in Saskatchewan and Ontario, at a cost of $17.1 million over five years.
The funding outlined in Budget 2018 comes on top of resources allocated under Budget 2017, which created 28 new judicial positions across the country.
Additionally, the Government will ensure that a robust process remains in place to allow Canadians to voice their concerns and submit complaints about judicial conduct to the Canadian Judicial Council and the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs. This investment of $6 million over two years, beginning in 2018-2019, will support the judicial discipline process through which allegations of judicial misconduct are investigated.
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.
For more information, media may contact:
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Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Department of Justice Canada
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