Government of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Ontario

News release

April 6, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada

The Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointments 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.

The Honourable Steve A. Coroza, a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario, is appointed a Justice of Appeal of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. Mr. Justice Coroza replaces Madam Justice K. Feldman, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective January 1, 2020.

The Honourable Leonard Ricchetti, a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario, is appointed Regional Senior Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario for the Central West Region. Mr. Justice Ricchetti replaces Mr. Justice P.A. Daley (Brampton), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective January 31, 2020.

Melanie Kraft, a partner at Epstein Cole LLP in Toronto, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. Madam Justice Kraft replaces Madam Justice J.A. Thorburn (Toronto), who was elevated to the Court of Appeal effective September 1, 2019.

Giulia B. Gambacorta, Defence Counsel and Legal Agent for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. Madam Justice Gambacorta replaces Madam Justice T. Maddalena (Welland), who was appointed to the Family Court Branch on April 4, 2019.

Biographies

Justice Steve A. Coroza was appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice (St. Catharines) in 2009 and to the Superior Court of Justice (Brampton) in 2013. He received n LL.B. from the University of Windsor and was admitted to the Bar of Ontario in 1997. He also received an LL.M. from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2003.

Justice Coroza was a staff duty counsel for Ontario Legal Aid in Toronto from 1997 to 1998. From 1998 to 2009, he was senior counsel with the Department of Justice and the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, where his main area of practice was criminal law. Justice Coroza was a member of the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers. He is a past adjunct instructor of the Trial Advocacy Course at Osgoode Hall Law School and a guest instructor with the University of Notre Dame Law School. He frequently participates as a panelist in continuing education programs for lawyers and judges. He was also a co-author of a publication entitled Sentencing Drug Offenders.

Justice Coroza and his spouse, Mary, a nurse practitioner, have three children.

Justice Leonard Ricchetti was born in Faeto, Italy. He received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto in 1975 and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Western Ontario in 1979. He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1981.

Justice Ricchetti was a partner with McMillan Binch Mendelsohn from 1986 to 2008 and an associate with that firm from 1983 to 1986. He developed an expertise in municipal law, environmental law, constitutional law and commercial law. Justice Ricchetti was appointed to the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in 2008.

Madam Justice Melanie Kraft graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1994.  Upon completion of her articles with Epstein Cole LLP, she was admitted to the Bar of Ontario. She practised family law exclusively with the firm, becoming a partner in 2001.

Justice Kraft’s practice covered a broad range of family law issues and involved various dispute-resolution mechanisms, including the negotiation of domestic contracts in complex financial matters and acting as counsel in contentious parenting, support, and property disputes.

Given Justice Kraft’s long-held commitment to improving the public’s access to justice, she has supported and participated in programs developed to support this objective.  This includes her past participation in the Intensive Poverty Law Programme at Parkdale Community Legal Service; her service as Duty Counsel at the Ontario Court of Justice, and, most recently, her service both as a Dispute Resolution Officer and as Advice Settlement Counsel at the Superior Court of Justice.

Justice Kraft is an Adjunct Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, where she co-teaches Family Law. She has obtained certificates in mediation from both the Collaborative Decision Resource Centre in Boulder, Colorado, and the Program of Instruction for Lawyers at Harvard Law School.

In addition to spending family time with her husband, Mark, and their three children, Justice Kraft has been actively involved in parents’ associations at her children’s elementary schools and has also served on the board of her children's post-secondary school.

Madam Justice Giulia B. Gambacorta was born in Toronto and raised in Amherstburg, Ontario, by Italian immigrant parents. She received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Western Ontario and pursued the study of French and modern languages before entering law school. She obtained an LL.B. from the University of Windsor and was admitted to the Bar of Ontario in 2002. 

After completing corporate/commercial articles, Justice Gambacorta pursued a career in criminal law with the Ministry of the Attorney General as an assistant Crown attorney until 2016. In 2016, she established her own practice and taught as an adjunct  professor at Osgoode Hall Law School. Diversifying her experience further, in 2018, Justice Gambacorta became an agent for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.

Throughout her career, Justice Gambacorta has been dedicated to the community and has held many board and community volunteer positions. These included leadership roles serving as president of the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton, chair of her Catholic School Council, and as a member of the Council of Catholic Service Organizations.

Justice Gambacorta is bilingual in English and Italian and has a working proficiency in French. She and her husband reside in Niagara and are the proud parents of two beautiful children.

Quick facts

  • At the Superior Court level, more than 350 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 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.

  • 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.

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Rachel Rappaport
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice
613-992-6568
rachel.rappaport@justice.gc.ca

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada
613-957-4207
media@justice.gc.ca


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