Government of Canada announces judicial appointment in the province of Quebec

News release

June 22, 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.

The Honourable Geneviève Cotnam, a judge of the Court of Quebec, is appointed a judge of the Court of Appeal of Quebec in Quebec City. She replaces Mr. Justice J. Bouchard, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective September 1, 2017.

Biography

Born in Toronto, Justice Geneviève Cotnam moved to Quebec City in 1982. She obtained her L.L.B. from Laval University in 1989 and was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1990. She then practised law with the firms of Flynn Rivard (1990-2003), Desjardins Ducharme Stein Monast (2003-2007) and Stein Monast (2007-2016). Her main areas of practice were civil and professional liability and insurance law, allowing her to develop wide-ranging experience in civil and administrative law. 

Justice Cotnam was appointed to the Civil Division of the Court of Quebec in 2016. Throughout her work as a judge, she strove to promote access to justice while ensuring efficient and respectful case management.

Prior to her appointment, Justice Cotnam was actively involved in promoting legal education. In addition to her practice, she lectured at the École du Barreau (Quebec Bar School) and the Faculty of Law at Laval University, where she helped supervise the Pierre-Basile-Mignault Moot Court Competition. She was also frequently called on to lecture across Quebec and Canada and contributed to a number of works on civil and procedural law.

Justice Cotnam also volunteered with the Quebec Bar, where she sat on the Complaints Review Committee, helped prepare a guide dealing with best practices, and served on a working group on investors. She was also a member of the Quebec Bar’s Court of Appeal Committee for a number of years.

In 2012, the Quebec Bar awarded Justice Cotnam the title of Advocatus Emeritus.

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. 
  • 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. 

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

David Taylor
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
613-992-4621

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada
613-957-4207
media@justice.gc.ca



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