Government of Canada announces judicial appointment to the Federal Court of Appeal

News release

June 24, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada  

The Honourable David Lametti, 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 Justice Anne L. Mactavish, a Judge of the Federal Court, is appointed a Judge of the Federal Court of Appeal. Madam Justice Mactavish fills a new position authorized under s. 95 of the Anti-terrorism Act.


Justice Mactavish was born and raised in Montréal. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts from Bishop’s University in 1977 and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New Brunswick in 1980. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in 1982, Justice Mactavish practised law in Ottawa, primarily in the areas of civil litigation, labour, and employment law.

In 1995, Justice Mactavish was appointed President of the Human Rights Tribunal Panel, where she was called upon to adjudicate discrimination complaints at the federal level. Following amendments to the Canadian Human Rights Act in 1998, she was appointed the first Chairperson of the newly constituted Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

Justice Mactavish was appointed to the Federal Court in 2003 and was appointed a Judge of the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada in 2004.

Justice Mactavish has been active in professional associations throughout her career, including having served as President of the County of Carleton Law Association and of the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice. She has published numerous articles on a variety of legal topics and has been a frequent speaker at legal and judicial educational programs, both in Canada and abroad. For many years she chaired the national judicial education program on administrative law for federally appointed judges.

Justice Mactavish and her husband are the proud parents of three wonderful adult children.

Quick facts

  • At the Superior Court level, more than 300 judges have been appointed since November 2015. These exceptional jurists represent the diversity that strengthens Canada. Of these judges, more than half are women, and appointments reflect an increased representation of visible minorities, Indigenous, LGBTQ2S and those who self-identify as having 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:

Rachel Rappaport
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada

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