Mahmud Jamal, the first person of colour, nominated to Canada’s highest court

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday announced the nomination of Justice Mahmud Jamal, the first person of colour, to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Calling Jamal’s nomination as ‘historic’, Trudeau said ““I am pleased to announce the nomination of Justice Mahmud Jamal to the Supreme Court of Canada. Respected around the world, Canada’s Supreme Court is known for its strength, independence, and judicial excellence.”

Trudeau further added “I know that Justice Jamal, with his exceptional legal and academic experience and dedication to serving others, will be a valuable asset to our country’s highest court.”

Justice Jamal had a distinguished career as a litigator with a deep commitment to pro bono work prior to his appointment to the Court of Appeal for Ontario in 2019, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement, adding that he appeared in 35 appeals before the Supreme Court of Canada on civil, constitutional, criminal, and regulatory issues.

Being a bilingual, Justice Jamal also taught constitutional law at McGill University and administrative law at Osgoode Hall Law School. He is bilingual.

“The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and the Chairperson of the Independent Advisory Board for Supreme Court of Canada Judicial Appointments will soon appear before a special hearing of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights to discuss the selection process and the reasons for the nomination,” the statement issued by Prime Minister’s Office said.

Members of the House of Commons Standing Committee will then take part in a question and answer period with the nominee, joined by the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs and a member of the Green Party of Canada. This session will be moderated by Marie-Eve Sylvestre, Dean of the Civil Law section at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law.

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