Government of Canada announces judicial appointment in the province of New Brunswick

News release

February 6, 2020 - 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 judicial application process established in 2016. This process emphasizes transparency, merit, and diversity, and will continue to ensure the appointment of jurists who meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity.

Nathalie Godbout, Q.C, Founding Partner at Godbout Fawcett, is appointed a Judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench of New Brunswick, Family Division. Madam Justice Godbout replaces Madam Justice A. Wooder (Fredericton), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective November 6, 2017. 


Justice Godbout was born and raised in Grand Falls, New Brunswick. She attended St. Thomas University, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts and received the President’s Scholarship. In 1994, she obtained her Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) from the University of New Brunswick.

Justice Godbout is a co-founder and partner of the law firm Godbout Fawcett in Saint John. She has been practising law for 24 years, is fluently bilingual and has extensive experience in litigation, negotiation, and advocacy in the areas of insurance, professional liability, and health law.

In 2016, Justice Godbout was recognized by the YWCA as a Woman of Distinction for her professional accomplishments and her advocacy for gender-based equity through work, volunteerism, and mentoring. She was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2016.  She is a frequent lecturer for the Canadian Bar Association and has co-chaired and organized a number of law conferences for the Association and The Advocates Society. She is a member of the Ethics Committee of the New Brunswick Law Society, a long-standing member of the Board of Emera New Brunswick and a past member of the Board of Assumption Life. In keeping with her keen interest in health law, Justice Godbout is a former Vice-Chair of the New Brunswick Health Council and has sat as a Tribunal Chair for the Mental Health Tribunal of Southern New Brunswick for 11 years.

Justice Godbout lives in Saint John with her husband, Jim Lawlor, and their two daughters. 

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 provides 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 creates 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.

  • 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.


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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