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

News release

January 29, 2024 – 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.

Allyson Whyte Nowak, Senior Partner at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP in Toronto, is appointed a Judge of the Federal Court. Justice Whyte Nowak replaces Justice S. Roussel, who was elevated to the Federal Court of Appeal effective April 19, 2022.


“I wish Justice Whyte Nowak 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 Allyson Whyte Nowak was born and raised in Toronto. She received both her undergraduate degree and law degrees (B.C.L. and LL.B.) from McGill University. She was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1996.

Justice Whyte Nowak was a Senior Partner at Norton Rose Fulbright LLP having practiced at the firm for over 20 years. Her practice focused on intellectual property (IP) and related commercial litigation including patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, and disputes over the ownership and inventorship of IP. She has experience litigating at the Federal Court, Federal Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Canada.

Justice Whyte Nowak was recognized as a leading practitioner in intellectual property law and life sciences. She participated as a guest lecturer in judicial education seminars on IP law organized by the National Judicial Institute. She regularly spoke and wrote on a variety of intellectual property topics, including co-authoring the chapter, "Best Practices in Litigating Complex IP Litigation" in Intellectual Property Disputes: Resolutions and Remedies (R. E. Dimock, Thomson Reuters). She was a long-standing committee volunteer at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and a member of the Board of Directors since June 2019.

Justice Whyte Nowak is grateful for the support of her family, her husband David, and their two incredible daughters, Sydney and Camryn.

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada has appointed more than 685 judges since November 2015. This includes 62 appointments since the Honourable Arif Virani became Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada on July 26, 2023. 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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