Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces a judicial appointment in the province of British Columbia
April 20, 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 Karen Horsman, a Judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver, is appointed a Justice of Appeal of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia. Justice Horsman replaces Justice M. Saunders (Vancouver), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective January 1, 2022.
“I wish Justice Horsman success as she takes on her new role. I am confident she will service the people of British Columbia well as a member of the Court of Appeal for British Columbia.”
—The Hon. David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Justice Karen Horsman was appointed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia in 2018. She received her LL.B. from the University of British Columbia in 1992.
At the time of her appointment to the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Justice Horsman was a barrister with the Ministry of the Attorney General, where she served initially in the general civil litigation group and later in the constitutional and administrative law group. Prior to completing her articles with the British Columbia Ministry of the Attorney General, she had clerked at the British Columbia Supreme Court.
Justice Horsman’s legal practice covered a wide range of subjects, from personal injury actions in provincial small claims court to major constitutional litigation that has progressed to the Supreme Court of Canada. She frequently appeared as counsel at all levels of court in British Columbia and at the Supreme Court of Canada. She was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2014.
Justice Horsman has been a co-editor and contributing author for the textbook Government Liability: Law and Practice. She has also taught as an adjunct professor at the Allard School of Law. Throughout her career, she has been a frequent volunteer contributor to legal education programs on a diverse array of topics, including appellate advocacy, constitutional litigation, class actions, administrative law, and mentoring in the legal profession.
At the Superior Court level, more than 525 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:
Office of the Minister of Justice
Department of Justice Canada
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