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Two judges appointed to B.C. Supreme Court

Monday, March 16, 2020 @ 12:52 PM | By John Chunn


The Department of Justice (DOJ) on March 16 announced two judicial appointments for the province of British Columbia. 

Matthew Taylor, senior legal counsel at the Ministry of the Attorney General of British Columbia in Vancouver, is appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Justice Taylor replaces Justice Lance W. Bernard (New Westminster), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective May 11, 2019.

Andrew Majawa, regional director and general counsel at the Department of Justice Canada in Vancouver, is appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Justice Majawa replaces Justice Nathan H. Smith (Vancouver), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective Oct. 10, 2019.

According to the DOJ’s press release, Justice Taylor, who is bilingual, was raised in Montreal. He received a BA (honours) in politics from Queen’s University in 1989 and an M.Phil in political philosophy from Cambridge University in 1990 on a Cambridge Commonwealth Scholarship. He earned LL.B. and B.C.L. degrees from the McGill University Faculty of Law in 1994, graduating as the National Program Gold Medalist, and an LL.M. from Harvard Law School, which he attended on a Fulbright Scholarship.

He clerked for Justice Gérard La Forest at the Supreme Court of Canada from 1994 to 1995 and was called to the Ontario bar in 1996 and the British Columbia bar in 2002.

Since 2008, Justice Taylor has practised as senior legal counsel with the B.C. Ministry of Attorney General, principally as a solicitor on complex commercial and public transactions. He also acted as counsel on select litigation files, including before the Supreme Court of Canada. He has broad public and private sector litigation and advisory experience, having previously practised as a commercial and public law litigator in Vancouver and Toronto and, early in his career, as a legal and policy analyst with the Privy Council Office in Ottawa.

Justice Majawa was born and raised in Metro Vancouver and received his BA (honours) from Queen’s University. After working as a consultant with a multinational firm in Ontario, Justice Majawa returned to Vancouver and received his juris doctor from the University of British Columbia in 2005. He then completed a judicial clerkship at the Supreme Court of British Columbia, articled at the Department of Justice Canada, and was called to the British Columbia bar in 2007.

Justice Majawa has spent his entire legal career at the Department of Justice Canada, where he practised primarily in tax litigation and extradition. He has appeared before the British Columbia Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, the Federal Court and Federal Court of Appeal, and the Tax Court of Canada. Justice Majawa was also one of the counsel representing Canada at the B.C. Missing Women Commission of Inquiry.