Focus On

Ottawa appoints one judge in Ontario, promotes another

Monday, June 24, 2019 @ 2:29 PM | By John Chunn


The federal Department of Justice on June 24 announced the following judicial appointments in the province of Ontario:

Mahmud Jamal, partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in Toronto, is appointed a justice of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. Justice Jamal replaces Justice Gladys Pardu, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective Jan. 1, 2019.

Vanessa V. Christie, a judge of the provincial court of Ontario, is appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. Justice Christie replaces Justice Guy P. Di Tomaso, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective Sept. 30, 2018.

Justice Jamal was born in Kenya, raised in England and completed high school in Edmonton. He received a BA from the University of Toronto, LL.B. and B.C.L. degrees from the Faculty of Law, McGill University, and an LL.M. from Yale Law School, which he attended on a Fulbright Scholarship. He served as law clerk to Justice Melvin Rothman of the Quebec Court of Appeal and Justice Charles Gonthier of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Justice Jamal, who is bilingual, practised with Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt in the fields of appellate litigation, constitutional and public law, class actions and commercial litigation. He appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada in 35 appeals addressing a wide range of civil, constitutional, criminal and regulatory issues. He also appeared before various provincial courts, the Federal Court, Federal Court of Appeal and Tax Court of Canada and federal and provincial administrative tribunals.

Justice Jamal was a director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, The Advocates’ Society and the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History. He was a member of the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute and a trustee of the Canadian Business Law Journal. He has taught constitutional law at McGill, administrative law at Osgoode Hall and published widely in his areas of practice. He was also chair of Osler’s pro bono program and a member of its Partnership Board.

Justice Christie was born and raised in St. Stephen, N.B. She attended the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, where she obtained her BA in 1998, remaining on the Dean’s List every year, with a double major in sociology and law and society. She attended York University, Osgoode Hall Law School, from 1998 to 2001, and was called to the bar in October 2002.

In January 2000, Justice Christie began a student placement with Greenspan, Henein and White (now Greenspan Partners LLP). She remained at the firm throughout her career as a lawyer, ultimately becoming partner in January 2013. She appeared as counsel at all levels of court in Ontario (including multiple jury trials), the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada. She also appeared as counsel in many other provinces. In her career as a lawyer, Justice Christie was very active in the Ontario Bar Association, sitting on council and the audit and governance committees. She also volunteered regularly with Our Place Community of Hope in Toronto.

Justice Christie was appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice in Gore Bay on Manitoulin Island in September 2017. She presided in three locations every week, including Gore Bay, Wikwemikong and Espanola. She was involved in the implementation of the first Indigenous court for the Ontario Court of Justice in the Northeast region, which had its first sitting in January 2019, with Justice Christie presiding.