Ottawa, Ontario
October 28, 2016

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced the appointment of Mr. Justice Malcolm Rowe to the Supreme Court of Canada.

First appointed as a trial judge in 1999, Mr. Justice Rowe has sat on the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador since 2001. Throughout his distinguished career, working for the Federal Government, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, and in private law practice, he was involved in constitutional matters, foreign relations, the arbitration of maritime boundaries, and the negotiation of conventional law through the United Nations. Since being appointed to the bench, he has made a remarkable contribution to the area of sentencing law. Mr. Justice Rowe’s deep knowledge of criminal, constitutional, and public law has made him an ideal candidate to sit on Canada’s highest court.

This is the first appointment by the Government of Canada under its new Supreme Court selection process, which was established to promote greater openness, transparency, and accountability.

The new selection process is being used in this instance to fill the vacancy left by Mr. Justice Thomas Cromwell who retired from the Supreme Court of Canada on September 1, 2016. The appointment is effective immediately.

Quote

“It is really satisfying today to announce the appointment of Mr. Justice Malcolm Rowe from Newfoundland and Labrador to the Supreme Court of Canada. The appointment of this remarkable legal expert is the culmination of a new more open, non-partisan selection process which is yet another example of democracy in action. I wish Justice Rowe every success in the new job and look forward to seeing his rulings on important issues affecting Canadians.” 
Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Quick Facts

  • During the selection process, an independent and non-partisan advisory board identified suitable candidates. Once the Independent Advisory Board compiled a shortlist of candidates, the Minister of Justice consulted the Chief Justice of Canada, the applicable provincial and territorial attorneys general, some members of Cabinet, members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights and of the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, and the Opposition Justice critics.
  • The new selection process sought jurists of the highest caliber, who were functionally bilingual and representative of the diversity of this great country.
  • The process has allowed any Canadian lawyer or judge who fits the criteria to apply to the Supreme Court of Canada through the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs.
  • As part of the process members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights participated in a special committee hearing, where the Minister of Justice and the Chair of the Independent Advisory Board explained the process and why the nominee was selected.
  • To further meet our commitment to openness and transparency, members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights and Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs – as well as representatives of the Bloc Québécois and Green Party – were invited to take part in a Q&A session with the nominee, moderated by McGill University law professor, Daniel Jutras, which took place on October 25, 2016.

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