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

June 23, 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.

The Honourable Aubrey Danielle Hilliard, a Judge of the Ontario Court of Justice in Simcoe, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Simcoe. Justice Hilliard replaces Justice R.G. Nightingale (Simcoe), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective March 1, 2023.


“I wish Justice Hilliard every success as she takes on her new role. I am confident she will serve Ontarians well as a member of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario.”

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


Justice Aubrey Danielle Hilliard grew up in Toronto and earned her Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from McMaster University in 2001 then her law degree from Dalhousie University in 2004. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 2005.

Justice Hilliard was appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice in December 2018. She was passionate about and was actively involved in the planning and implementation of judicial education on both criminal and family law topics. She was in private practice from her call to the bar until her appointment to the Ontario Court of Justice. Her practice focussed on family law and criminal defence, representing parents in both domestic and child protection matters, as well as being a panel member of the Office of the Children’s Lawyer. She was the president of the Haldimand Law Association from 2010 to 2015.

Justice Hilliard was a soccer coach for Haldimand Youth Soccer and an active support of minor hockey in Haldimand County. In her leisure time, she enjoys spending time in her vegetable garden and assisting her husband in raising their two boys.

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada has appointed more than 625 judges 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:

Diana Ebadi
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada

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