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Canada to have first majority-female supreme court following nomination

Justin Trudeau has nominated the Alberta judge Mary Moreau to Canada’s top court, setting up the first majority-female bench in the supreme court’s 148-year history.

The naming of Moreau will give Canada’s top court five female judges and four male judges. Moreau was most recently the chief justice of Alberta’s superior court, and has worked in that court for 29 years. She will fill a vacancy on the supreme court created by the resignation of Russell Brown in June.

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Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Moreau has practiced criminal law, constitutional law and civil litigation after studying at the University of Alberta and the Université de Sherbrooke in Quebec.

“A glass ceiling shattered,” Canada’s justice minister, Arif Virani, said on X, formerly known as Twitter, noting that Moreau’s appointment will give the supreme court bench a majority of women for the first time in its history.

Trudeau has made Canada’s top court more diverse with his recent appointments. In June 2021, Mahmud Jamal became the first judge of color to sit on the supreme court, and a year later Michelle O’Bonsawin became the first Indigenous person to join it.

“Throughout her impressive judicial career, Mary T Moreau has remained dedicated to fairness and excellence – and that’s why, today, I’m announcing her nomination to the supreme court of Canada,” Trudeau tweeted.

Eligible candidates were shortlisted by an independent, nonpartisan advisory board and handed to Trudeau, according to a statement from the prime minister’s office.

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The candidates needed to have the ability to work in both official languages, English and French. To fill the current vacancy, the appointment needed to be from western Canada or northern Canada to meet regional representation requirements.