By nominating Alberta judge Mary Moreau, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has created the first majority-female bench in the court’s 148-year existence. Moreau, the former chief justice of Alberta’s superior court, will take over the position left vacant by Justice Russell Brown’s June departure. Moreau, who was born in Edmonton and attended the University of Alberta and the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec, is a lawyer who specializes in criminal law, constitutional law, and civil litigation.
Moreau has been on the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta since 1994, and he has served as chief justice since 2017. She served on the National Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics from 2014 to 2017, demonstrating her dedication to judicial education and ethics. Moreau is a prominent Edmonton attorney who practices criminal law, constitutional law, and civil litigation and has successfully argued in several high-profile cases, protecting the rights of minorities to speak their native languages and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Attorney General and Minister of Justice Arif Virani cited Moreau’s extensive background in hearing and deciding high-stakes cases as a significant factor in her selection. Furthermore, he announced that women now make up the majority of Supreme Court justices.
Moreau was congratulated on social media by Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, who noted that Moreau’s lengthy and illustrious career gives her a deep understanding of constitutional, criminal, and civil law. The Edmonton native Moreau takes over for Russell Brown, who resigned in June after allegations of misbehavior from an event at a U.S. resort surfaced. Brown strongly refutes this assertion and expresses optimism that the CJC investigation into this occurrence will be “dispensed with quickly and would not adversely damage the court’s business.”
Moreau’s confirmation as a judge is contingent on a hearing before the House of Commons Justice and Human Rights Committee, where Virani will explain the rationale behind her appointment.