Government of Canada announces judicial appointment to the Federal Court

News release

June 27, 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.

Janet M. Fuhrer, Partner at Ridout & Maybee LLP in Ottawa, is appointed a Judge of the Federal Court, and a Judge ex officio of the Federal Court of Appeal. Madam Justice Fuhrer replaces Madam Justice A.L. Mactavish, who was elevated to the Federal Court of Appeal on June 11, 2019.


Justice Fuhrer was born in Toronto and raised in Bolton, Ontario. She studied Economics and Political Science at the University of Toronto for two years before being admitted to study law at Queen’s University, where she obtained her LL.B. in 1985. She was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1987 and later obtained her LL.M. in e-Business from York University while working full time.

Justice Fuhrer has spent the past 21 of her 32 years of practice in the intellectual property law field with Ridout & Maybee LLP in its Ottawa office, including as a partner. She is a certified specialist by the Law Society of Ontario in Intellectual Property Law (Trademarks and Copyright). She is Past President of both the Canadian Bar Association and the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada. She was among the first Canadian members invited to become a Fellow of the American Intellectual Property Law Association. She has served in various leadership roles with all three organizations, as well as with the Ontario Bar Association and the International Trademark Association. She is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences on intellectual property law topics.

Justice Fuhrer taught the Trademarks and Unfair Competition Law Course at Queen’s University Faculty of Law and served on the Dean’s Council. She is a previous associate editor of the Canadian Patent Reporter and a former chair of the Trademark Agents Examination Board.

Justice Fuhrer is married and enjoys spending time with family and friends.

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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