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Justice Kasirer confirmed as next Supreme Court judge

Wednesday, August 07, 2019 @ 2:34 PM | By John Chunn

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 07, 2019 @ 2:50 PM

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Aug. 7 announced the appointment of Justice Nicholas Kasirer to the Supreme Court of Canada, effective Sept. 16, 2019.

According to the press release from the Prime Minister’s Office, Justice Kasirer has led an exceptional career as a judge and professor, earning the esteem of his peers in Canada and around the world.

Nicholas Kasirer

Justice Nicholas Kasirer

He served for a decade as a judge on the Court of Appeal of Quebec, to which he was appointed in 2009. Prior to that, he spent 20 years as a professor of law at McGill University, where he also served as dean of law from 2003 to 2009. A former law clerk for former Supreme Court justice Jean Beetz, Justice Kasirer is perfectly bilingual.

Chief Justice of Canada Richard Wagner welcomed the appointment of Justice Kasirer.

“Justice Kasirer is a distinguished judge who is widely respected for both his profound knowledge of the law and collegial manner on the bench,” the chief justice said in a press release from the Supreme Court of Canada. “As a former law professor and experienced member of the Quebec Court of Appeal, I am confident that Justice Kasirer will make a significant contribution as a member of the court. My colleagues and I look forward to serving Canadians alongside him.”

This appointment is the third under the Supreme Court appointment process launched by the government of Canada in 2016. Through this process, an independent and non-partisan advisory board is tasked with identifying candidates.

Justice Kasirer will fill the vacancy created by the upcoming retirement of Justice Clément Gascon. In the case of Quebec seats, an advisory board is created that reflects Quebec’s unique legal tradition and ensures greater participation by its government in the selection process for judges from the province.
Justice Kasirer graduated from McGill University in 1985 with a bachelor of civil law and a bachelor of laws, following a BA from the University of Toronto. In 1986, he completed a postgraduate Diplôme d’études approfondies in International Law at Université Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne). After clerking for former justice Beetz of the Supreme Court of Canada, he became a member of the Barreau du Québec in 1987.

From 1989 to 2009, Justice Kasirer was a professor at McGill’s Faculty of Law, where he taught in several fields, including the law of obligations, property law, family law and wills and estates law in both civil and common law. He was also a visiting professor at various universities, including the Université Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne). He served as McGill’s law dean from 2003 to 2009.

Justice Kasirer held the James McGill Chair from 2002 to 2009 and directed the Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law from 1996 to 2003. He has authored over a hundred publications in a variety of fields, including civil law, comparative law, and jurilinguistics.

In 2009, he was appointed Justice of the Court of Appeal of Quebec. During the last 10 years, he has rendered many judgments in various fields, such as private law, criminal law, and public law, including constitutional law.

Since 2006, he has been a titular member of the International Academy of Comparative Law (Paris). In 2012, the Université de Sherbrooke awarded him an honorary doctorate in law. In 2008, he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Photo of Justice Nicholas Kasirer by Cristin Schmitz