“If we are to fully meet the challenges of judging in a diverse society, we must work toward a bench that better mirrors the people it judges.”

— The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C., former Chief Justice of Canada

Every society looks to public institutions to be reflective of itself. A representative public institution is believed to inspire other members of the society to ascend to greatness and enjoys a deeper understanding to some of the issues the institution deals with. Judicial diversity can increase public confidence.

Canada’s population is inherently diverse. The Government of Canada’s recent judicial appointments in the province of Ontario reflects the judiciary’s increasing diversity.

The eight newly appointed judges come from all streams of life. For example, Justice Audrey P. C. Ramsay was born in Jamaica and immigrated to Canada at the age of 10. Justice Narissa Somji was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and immigrated to Canada in the 1970s. Justice Catriona Verner lived in places such as New Zealand, Japan and Europe throughout her youth. Justice Eugenia Papageorgious was born to Macedonian/Greek parents and lived within that community of immigrants growing up.

As former Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin spoke of the issue in 2012, Judges “arrive at the bench shaped by their experiences and by the perspectives of the communities from which they come. As human beings, they cannot help but to bring these ‘leanings of the mind’ to the act of judging[1].” Surely, the newly appointed Judges will draw on their varied experiences and perspectives in the issues that they will adjudicate.




[1] “Speaker’s Corner: Why judicial diversity matters” from Law Times; Accessed at: https://www.lawtimesnews.com/archive/speakers-corner-why-judicial-diversity-matters/261585