Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces a judicial appointment in the province of Prince Edward Island
February 20, 2023 – 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.
Thomas P. Laughlin, K.C., Partner at Stewart McKelvey in Charlottetown, is appointed a Judge of the Court of Appeal of Prince Edward Island. Justice Laughlin replaces Justice J.K. Mitchell, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective September 5, 2022.
“I wish Justice Laughlin every success as he takes on his new role. I am confident he will serve Prince Edward Islanders well as a member of the Court of Appeal.”
—The Hon. David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Justice Thomas P. Laughlin, K.C., was born and raised in Summerside, Prince Edward Island. He received his B.A. from the University of Prince Edward Island in 1994 and his LL.B. from the University of New Brunswick in 1998. He was called to the bars of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island in 1999.
Justice Laughlin articled with the firm Stewart McKelvey and was made a partner of the firm in 2004. He maintained a comprehensive litigation practice during his career, focusing extensively on the areas of criminal, administrative and health law, and appeared at all levels of court in Prince Edward Island, as well as before various administrative tribunals. He was appointed King’s Counsel in 2017.
Justice Laughlin has been an active member of the legal community, serving as President of the Prince Edward Island Branch of the Canadian Bar Association and as a member of the CBA’s national board of directors, and acting as chairperson of the CBA’s national policy committee. In 2022, the Canadian Bar Association of PEI presented him with its Distinguished Service Award. He has also been an active volunteer in his community, serving on the board of directors for the UPEI Alumni Association, Habitat for Humanity (Queens County Chapter) and the Hospice Palliative Care Association of PEI.
Justice Laughlin lives in Stratford, Prince Edward Island, with his wife, Roxanne.
At the Superior Court level, more than 595 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, 2SLGBTQI+, and those who self-identify as having a disability.
To support the needs of the courts and improve access to justice for all Canadians, the Government of Canada is committed to increasing the capacity of superior courts. Budget 2022 provides for 22 new judicial positions, along with two associate judges at the Tax Court of Canada. Along with the 13 positions created under Budget 2021, this makes a total of 37 newly created superior court positions. Since Budget 2017, the government has funded 116 new judicial positions.
Changes to the Questionnaire for Federal Judicial Appointments were announced in September 2022. The questionnaire continues to provide for a robust and thorough assessment of candidates but has been streamlined and updated to incorporate, among other things, more respectful and inclusive language for individuals to self-identify diversity characteristics.
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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