The Honourable Marie Deschamps received a Licentiate in Laws from the Université de Montréal in 1974 and an LL.M. from McGill University in 1983. The Université de Montréal and the Université de Sherbrooke each awarded her an honorary doctorate in 2008 and 2014, respectively. She received the F. R. Scott Award for Distinguished Service from the Faculty of Law at McGill University in 2013. She was appointed Companion of the Order of Canada in 2013 and received the distinction Lawyer Emeritus from the Quebec Bar in 2014.
Madame Deschamps was called to the Quebec Bar in 1975 and practiced as a litigator at Martineau Walker and Sylvestre et Matte in family, civil and commercial law; then at Rouleau, Rumanek and Sirois in criminal law; and finally at Byers Casgrain in civil and commercial law. She was appointed judge to the Quebec Superior Court in 1990, to the Quebec Court of Appeal in 1992, and to the Supreme Court of Canada in 2002. She retired from the judiciary in August 2012.
In 2014, Madame Deschamps was appointed to conduct the External Review into Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment in the Canadian Armed Forces. In 2015, she was named Chair of the panel for an External Independent Review of the United Nations Response to Allegations of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in the Central African Republic. In 2016, she served as member of the review committee on Quebec provincial judges remuneration. In 2017, she was appointed Chair of the Council of Canadian Academies’ Expert Panel on Medical Assistance in Dying. In 2018, she was designated as Assessor for the LGBT Purge Class Action settlement.
Madame Deschamps has been an adjunct professor at the law schools of the Université de Sherbrooke since 2006 and of McGill University since 2012. She rejoined the Quebec Bar in 2013. She continues to serve as a member on a number of boards of directors.