Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces a judicial appointment in the province of Ontario

News release

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces a judicial appointment in the province of Ontario

March 28, 2022 – 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 the diversity of the Canadian population, and will continue to ensure the appointment of jurists who meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity.

The Honourable Jill Miriam Copeland, a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Toronto, is appointed a Justice of Appeal of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. Justice Copeland replaces Justice D. Watt, who retired effective November 2, 2021.


 “I wish Justice Copeland every success in her new role. I know she will serve the people of Ontario well as a member of the Court of Appeal.”

—The Hon. David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada


Justice Jill Miriam Copeland was appointed to the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in 2017. She obtained her LL.B. in 1992 from the University of Toronto, where she was awarded the Dean’s Key and graduated with academic honours. She obtained her LL.M. from Columbia University in 2001, graduating as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. She was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 1995.

Justice Copeland is fluently bilingual. At the time of her appointment to the Superior Court of Justice, she was a judge of the Ontario Court of Justice where she presided over criminal and youth court matters in both official languages. Prior to her appointment to the bench, she practised in the areas of criminal, constitutional and administrative law for 19 years with Ruby & Edwardh and Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP and as counsel to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Justice Copeland began her legal career as a law clerk to the Honourable Peter Cory of the Supreme Court of Canada. During her time in practice, she maintained a commitment to pro bono work, acting for individuals and public interest organizations in trials and appeals to the Supreme Court of Canada, primarily on issues related to criminal law and civil liberties. She also served as duty counsel for inmate appeals before the Ontario Court of Appeal.

From 2007 to 2010, Justice Copeland served as Executive Legal Officer to the Chief Justice of Canada. In that role, she served as the principal advisor to the Chief Justice and assisted her with the administration of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Canadian Judicial Council, and the National Judicial Institute.

Throughout her career, Justice Copeland has been active as a speaker in legal education for lawyers, judges, members of administrative tribunals, and law students.  She also served on the board of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Toronto.

Quick facts

  • At the Superior Court level, more than 515 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, LGBTQ2+, 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.

  • 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.

  • The Government of Canada is committed to promoting a justice system in which sexual assault matters are decided fairly, without the influence of myths and stereotypes, and in which survivors are treated with dignity and compassion. Changes to the Judges Act and Criminal Code that came into force on May 6, 2021, mean that in order to be eligible for appointment to a provincial superior court, candidates must agree to participate in continuing education on matters related to sexual assault law and social context, which includes systemic racism and systemic discrimination. The new legislation enhances the transparency of decisions by amending the Criminal Code to require that judges provide written reasons, or enter them into the record, when deciding sexual assault matters.


For more information, media may contact:

Chantalle Aubertin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada

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