Government of Canada announces judicial appointment in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador

News release

October 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 introduced 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 William H. Goodridge, a judge of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, is appointed a judge of the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador. He replaces Justice M.F. Harrington, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective July 2, 2018.


Justice William H. Goodridge obtained his LL.B. in 1982 from Osgoode Hall Law School, where he received the Clifford H. Lane Memorial Prize for the highest standing in property law. He obtained a B.Comm. (Hons.) from Memorial University in 1979 and was the recipient of a Royal Trust academic scholarship. He was admitted to the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1982; appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2002; and appointed to the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2007. 

Justice Goodridge is co-chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Judges’ Education Committee, and a faculty member for the National Judicial Institute’s regional, national and international education programs. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Justice Goodridge was a full-time practitioner focusing on civil litigation with a regional law firm. He was also a part-time sessional lecturer at Memorial University. Internationally, Justice Goodridge has assisted in the design and delivery of judicial and legal education programs in Vietnam, Pakistan, and several East African countries. 

Justice Goodridge was President of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada from 2006 to 2007 and Chair of the Canadian Judges’ Forum from 2014 to 2015. In 2007, he received the Canadian Bar Association (Newfoundland and Labrador Branch) Distinguished Public Service Award.

Justice Goodridge was married to the late Janet Murphy Goodridge. He has four children and one grandchild. In his spare time, Justice Goodridge is an avid outdoorsman, enjoying skiing, hiking, salmon fishing, canoeing, and hunting.

Quick facts

  • Since taking office, the Minister of Justice has made over 220 judicial appointments, including 100 in 2017 – the most a Minister of Justice has made in one year in at least two decades. Of the individuals appointed, over half are women, eight are Indigenous, 18 have self-identified as a member of a visible minority population, 12 identify as LGBTQ2, and three identify as 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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