Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces a judicial appointment to the Federal Court

News release

September 26, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada  

The Honourable Arif Virani, 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.

Phuong T.V. Ngo, Partner at Gowling WLG in Ottawa, is appointed a Judge of the Federal Court. Justice Ngo replaces Justice R. Barnes, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective November 22, 2020.


“I wish Justice Ngo every success as she takes on her new role. I am confident she will serve Canadians well as a member of the Federal Court.”

—The Hon. Arif Virani, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada


Justice Phuong T.V. Ngo was born in Vietnam and immigrated to Canada with her family as a young child. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in French and Political Science from Carleton University, and Bachelor of Education from the University of Ottawa before receiving her LL.B. (French Common Law Program) from the University of Ottawa in 1998. She was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2000.

Justice Ngo was a partner with the law firm Gowling WLG in the Ottawa office where she spent her entire career and was the Leader of the Procurement Law Group. She practiced in both official languages in the field of procurement law with a focus on administrative law, regulatory and compliance matters, and procurement-related disputes and litigation. In her medical defence and health law practice, she specialized in civil litigation and regulatory matters as well as a focus on privacy law.

Justice Ngo has been recognized as a leading practitioner in procurement law by Lexpert, Chambers Canada, Best Lawyers in Canada, and Legal 500. She also previously served on the Board of Trustees of the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.

Justice Ngo is grateful for the support of her family, her husband Louis, and their two wonderful sons.

Excerpts from Justice Petersen’s Ngo application can be accessed at the following link.

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada has appointed more than 645 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 racialized persons, 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:

Chantalle Aubertin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada

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