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

News release

May 1, 2024 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada  

The Honourable Arif Virani, 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.

Michael Battista, Founding Counsel at Battista Migration Law Group in Toronto, is appointed a Judge of the Federal Court. Justice Battista replaces Justice E. Walker, who was elevated to the Federal Court of Appeal on January 26, 2024.

Catharine Moore, Senior General Counsel at the Department of Justice Canada in Ottawa, is appointed an associate judge of the Federal Court.  


“I wish Justice Battista and Associate Judge Moore every success as they take on their new roles. I am confident they will serve Canadians well as members of the Federal Court.”

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


Justice Michael Battista obtained his B.A. from the University of Toronto and LL.B. from Queen’s Faculty of Law. Called to the Ontario bar in 1992, he has practiced immigration and refugee law exclusively since that time. He is certified as a Specialist in Immigration and Refugee law by the Law Society of Ontario. 

Justice Battista has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada for interveners Amnesty International, EGALE Canada and Rainbow Railroad. He is co-author of two legal texts: Canadian Family and Immigration Law: Intersections, Developments, and Conflicts (2015, Carswell) and Family Class Sponsorship in Canadian Immigration Law (2021, Emond). He was adjunct professor at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law and at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, where he was awarded the inaugural Teaching Innovation Award in 2018. 

Committed to community service, Justice Battista began volunteering on the AIDS Committee of Toronto’s hotline at the height of the AIDS crisis and eventually became Chair of the Board of Directors. He is also Founding Chair of Rainbow Railroad, an international 2SLGBTQI+ refugee support organization. He was inducted into the Ontario AIDS Network Honour Roll, recognized by the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto’s Community Service award, and received the 2SLGBTQI+ Chamber of Commerce’s Business Advocate of the Year Award in 2023. He also received the Canadian Bar Association Immigration Section’s Volunteer Appreciation Award.

Justice Battista is supported by his husband Keith, a retired City of Toronto firefighter, and their 14-year-old son Dario.

Associate Judge Catharine Moore is originally from a small town north-west of Toronto. She studied at the University of Ottawa and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1994. 

Associate Judge Moore spent her career as a civil litigator with the Department of Justice Canada in both the Toronto Regional Office and at headquarters in Ottawa.  Although starting with a broad-based practice covering most aspects of Crown law, her focus for the last twenty years has been exclusively in the area of class proceedings.  She has been lead litigation counsel on numerous high profile and sensitive class proceedings against Canada.

Associate Judge Moore has been an active contributor to legal education and mentoring both within the Department of Justice Canada and the wider legal community, including teaching civil procedure to upper year law students at the University of Ottawa. She is a past member of both the Ontario Superior Court Bench and Bar, Class Actions Section and the Federal Court Class Action Liaison Committee, and a frequent panelist at continuing legal education events.

Associate Judge Moore is grateful for the support of her wonderful partner, Paul Lahaise and her remarkable son, James Baker as well as her extended family throughout the country.

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada has appointed more than 730 judges since November 2015. This includes 103 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
Deputy Director, Communications
Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada

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