Government of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Quebec

News release

August 31, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada  

The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointments 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 Stephen W. Hamilton, a judge of the Superior Court of Quebec, is appointed a judge of the Court of Appeal of Quebec in Montreal. He replaces Justice Y.M. Morissette, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective November 8, 2017.

Sylvain Lussier, a partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt, is appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Quebec for the district of Montreal. He replaces Justice M. Caron, who resigned effective April 3, 2018.

Bernard Synnott, a partner at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin, is appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Quebec for the district of Montreal. He replaces Justice M. Monast, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective May 15, 2018.

Éric Hardy, senior partner at Norton Rose Fulbright, is appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Quebec for the district of Québec. He replaces Justice S. Gagné, who was appointed to the Court of Appeal on November 29, 2017.

Nathalie Pelletier, a partner at Pelletier Martineau Avocats, is appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Quebec for the district of Montreal. She fills a new position authorized under Bill C-44, the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1.


Justice Stephen W. Hamilton was appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Quebec for the district of Montreal on October 4, 2013. He has heard cases in all divisions of the Court, from the Family Division to the Criminal Division, with an emphasis on commercial matters.

Prior to his appointment to the judiciary, Justice Hamilton practised law with Martineau Walker (now Fasken Martineau) from 1987 to 1990 and with Stikeman Elliott from 1990 to 2013. His principal practice areas were commercial litigation, class actions, insolvency and competition law. Justice Hamilton was a member of Stikeman Elliott’s firm-wide Professional and Ethics Committee from 1996 to 2013 and co-chair from 2007 until his appointment to the bench. He was a sessional lecturer in civil procedure at the McGill Faculty of Law from 1992 to 2006, and in international arbitration at the Quebec Bar School in Montreal from 2010 to 2012.

Justice Hamilton received a Bachelor of Civil Law and a Bachelor of Laws from McGill University in 1984 (gold medallist), and a masters-level Bachelor of Civil Law from Oxford University in 1985. He was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1986 and the Ontario Bar in 1988. He clerked for the Honourable Justice Antonio Lamer of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1986-1987.

Until his appointment to the judiciary, Justice Sylvain Lussier was a litigation partner with Osler in Montreal. He has practised in a wide range of areas of law, including commercial litigation, civil liability, and public and administrative law – the sector in which he represented the Attorney General of Canada at the Gomery Commission. He also has experience in constitutional law, fundamental rights and freedoms law, Aboriginal law, environmental law and municipal law. He has been counsel in numerous class actions, including liability, pension and competition cases, and in many shareholder disputes. He has represented clients before administrative tribunals, the Quebec Superior Court, the Quebec Court of Appeal, the Federal Courts, and the Supreme Court of Canada, in addition to the courts of New Brunswick.

Justice Lussier has taught administrative law at the University of Ottawa, the Université de Montréal and the Barreau du Québec, where he also taught courses on evidence and liability. He has spoken at conferences and has published in several fields of law. He headed a World Bank-sponsored mission to audit and recommend improvements to the legal system in Cameroon.  

He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) and is a past chair of the ACTL’s Provincial Committee. He is also a past chair of the Committee on Civil Justice of the Bar of Montreal and of the Constitutional Law and Civil Liberties Section of the Canadian Bar Association. He has held the title of advocatus emeritus since 2007 and was named a special advocate under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Excerpts from Justice Lussier’s judicial application are available.

Justice Bernard Synnott received a Bachelor of Law from the University of Ottawa in 1986 and was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1987. At the time of his appointment, Justice Synnott was a partner at the law firm Fasken Martineau, where he practised primarily in the fields of civil litigation, administrative law and labour law.

Justice Synnott has been extensively involved with his law society, serving on numerous committees and chairing the complaints committee, the finance committee and the Council of the Barreau du Québec. He was also a member of the admissions committee. Justice Synnott held the position of Bâtonnier du Québec (2014-2015) after serving as Bâtonnier of Montreal (2004‑2005). At the time of his appointment, Justice Synnott was a member of the Council of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada.

Justice Synnott was a professor at the École du Barreau du Québec, where he taught administrative law and civil procedure before becoming a member of the school’s Board of Directors. He has spoken at many conferences and seminars in the fields of administrative law and labour law. He is a co‑author of the Grand collectif sur le Code de procédure civile (chapter on lower court proceedings).

Justice Synnott also served on a committee focused on justice in the Far North. In collaboration with the itinerant courts, he participated in missions to Nunavik to better understand the reality of Indigenous and non‑Indigenous communities and to build links between the Barreau du Québec, citizens, and legal system stakeholders in Quebec’s Far North.

In 2015, Justice Synnott was awarded the title of avocat émérite and, in 2016, he received an Award of Merit from the Barreau du Québec in recognition of his contributions to the profession.

Excerpts from Justice Synnott’s judicial application are available.

Justice Éric Hardy received his LL.B. from Université Laval in 1987. As a Commonwealth Scholar, he undertook master’s studies at the University of London (Queen Mary College), in England, where he obtained an LL.M. in 1989.

In 1990, Justice Hardy began his career as a lawyer with the Montreal law firm of Phillips & Vineberg (now Davies) in commercial litigation. In 1992, he joined Ogilvy Renault (now Norton Rose Fulbright) in Quebec City, where he practised as a litigator until his appointment to the Superior Court.

Over the years, he has practised in many areas of law, including insurance law, civil and professional liability law, commercial and business law, and environmental law. He has argued cases before all levels of court in Quebec and before the Supreme Court of Canada. He served on the Quebec Bar Council, including three years as treasurer. He also served on the General Council of the Quebec Bar, including the Strategic Planning Committee.

Throughout his practice, Justice Hardy has contributed to the education and mentorship of young lawyers. He has also worked on simplifying proceedings to ensure access to justice and fairness.

Excerpts from Justice Hardy’s judicial application are available.

Justice Nathalie Pelletier obtained her LL.B. from Université Laval, where she also earned a B.A. in political science and a college teaching certificate. She was called to the Quebec Bar in 2003. Justice Pelletier began her practice at the firm of Geoffroy, Matte, Kelada. In 2008, she became a partner at the same firm, which had become MBDP Avocats, and in 2014 she became the sole shareholder of Pelletier Martineau Avocats.

Justice Pelletier has frequently appeared before the Court of Quebec and the Superior Court. She has worked primarily in criminal law, family law, insurance law and civil liability, giving her a broad range of legal experience.

Along with her practice, Justice Pelletier has been deeply involved in her community. She has served as the chair of the board of directors of the CRCATNQ, a non-profit that supports the reintegration of men in conflict with the law, and as a member of the board of directors of SATAS, which works to combat domestic violence in the region of Abitibi-Témiscamingue. She has also participated in various legal clinics for youth and local organizations.

From 2007 until her appointment to the judiciary, Justice Pelletier was active within the Barreau de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue, serving as councilor, first councilor and bâtonnière. In her role as bâtonnière, she advocated for access to justice, particularly for those living in the Far North. In recognition of her involvement and her collaboration with colleagues, she received the Barreau award for best adversary in 2017.

Excerpts from Justice Pelletier’s judicial application are available.

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 will provide funding of $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 provided 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.
  • In addition, the Government will invest $6 million over two years, beginning in 2018-2019, to support the judicial discipline process through which allegations of judicial misconduct are investigated. In this way, 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.
  • 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:

Célia Canon
Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada

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