Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Saskatchewan

News release

June 21, 2022 – 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 the diversity of the Canadian population, and will continue to ensure the appointment of jurists who meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity.

Jillyne M. Drennan, Legal Director at Legal Aid Saskatchewan in Regina, is appointed a Judge of Her Majesty's Court of Queen's Bench for Saskatchewan. Justice Drennan fills one of the two positions authorized further to the Budget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1.

Crystal L. Norbeck, Q.C., Partner at Gerrand Rath Johnson LLP in Regina, is appointed a Judge of Her Majesty's Court of Queen's Bench for Saskatchewan. Justice Norbeck replaces Justice J. McMurtry (Regina), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective January 1, 2022.


“I wish Justices Drennan and Norbeck every success as they take on their new roles. I am confident they will serve the people of Saskatchewan well as members of Her Majesty’s Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan.”

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


Justice Jillyne M. Drennan grew up on a farm near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She received her B.A. in English and Political Studies in 2002, and her L.L.B. in 2005, both from the University of Saskatchewan. She was called to the bar in 2007. 

Justice Drennan’s legal career began in private practice, focused primarily on the areas of family law and civil litigation. She also acted as Crown counsel for the Ministry of Social Services, conducting child protection litigation. In 2014, she joined the Regina Rural Legal Aid Office, where she became the Legal Director in 2019.

Justice Drennan has appeared regularly at all levels of court in Saskatchewan, representing marginalized clients in criminal, child protection and family law matters, both in urban and rural settings. She has worked closely with various community organizations and First Nations groups. She had a particular concern for the challenges faced by parents in child protection matters, and spearheaded the Saskatchewan Legal Aid duty counsel initiative to provide broader representation to those in need. Justice Drennan is a past bencher of the Law Society of Saskatchewan. She was a volunteer with Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan and a liaison with the Integrated Justice Program, which provides support to Indigenous individuals with cognitive issues involved in the criminal justice system. She has presented on evidence and advocacy issues at various continuing legal education forums.

Justice Drennan lives in Regina, Saskatchewan, with her daughter and dog. 

Justice Crystal L. Norbeck, Q.C., grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan. She received a Bachelor of Human Justice degree from the University of Regina in 1998 and an LL.B. from the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta.

Justice Norbeck began her legal career in Alberta, where she was in private practice for five years. In 2007, she returned home to Regina, working as in-house counsel for the Canadian Union of Public Employees. In 2012, she joined Gerrand Rath Johnson LLP, becoming a partner in 2014. She has spent her career as a civil litigator, focused primarily on labour and employment law. Her practice involved representing clients before administrative tribunals and all levels of court, as well as providing education for her clients. She had been a managing partner with the firm since 2016.

Justice Norbeck was twice elected as a bencher to the Law Society of Saskatchewan, and she received a Queen’s Counsel designation in 2021. She has prioritized volunteering for various legal education initiatives and the CPLED (articling student training) program. She spent many years as a sea cadet and later as an officer in the Canadian Forces.

Justice Norbeck is the mother of two boys and spends her time at the various activities her children are involved in. She enjoys spending time at the gym and generally being physically active.

Quick facts

  • At the Superior Court level, more than 545 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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