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A true legal trailblazer

Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, the first female and longest-serving chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, will speak about her career and legacy at Principal's Forum public lecture.

Beverley McLachlin Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada
Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin will speak at the Principal's Forum on Monday, Nov. 20, 1-2 pm, in Wallace Hall.

Throughout her 27 years as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, including 17 as the first female chief justice, Beverley McLachlin has weighed in on the most controversial and influential issues of our time, from hate speech to medical assistance in dying to senate reform.

As she nears the conclusion of her career – she will be stepping down from the bench on Dec. 15 – Chief Justice McLachlin will visit Queen’s University for a Principal’s Forum public lecture.

During her 38 years on the bench, Chief Justice McLachlin has acted as an agent of change and, through her talk, will provide a first-hand look at her path to becoming the first female and longest-serving chief justice in Canadian history.

“Over the course of Chief Justice McLachlin’s illustrious career, the Supreme Court of Canada has weighed in on many of the most pressing and often contentious issues of our time,” Principal Daniel Woolf says. “It is, no doubt, a testament to the impact of her time on the court that the announcement of her pending retirement was met from all corners with praise for her leadership and judicial accomplishments.”

The Principal’s Forum is a public lecture series that enables the principal to invite distinguished visitors to campus to speak on issues of interest to the Queen’s community

Chief Justice McLachlin’s judicial career began in April 1981 when she was appointed to the Vancouver County Court. Six months later she was appointed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia and then elevated to the British Columbia Court of Appeal in December 1985. She would then become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in September 1988.

In April 1989 she was sworn in as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and on Jan. 7, 2000, she was appointed Chief Justice of Canada.

Chief Justice McLachlin’s public talk will take place in Wallace Hall, John Deutsch University Centre, 1 to 2 pm on Monday, Nov. 20. The event is open to the public and free to attend.