Queen's University

Supreme Court nomination doesn't respect women's equality: Queen's University expert

2013-11-12

Queen’s University law professor Kathleen Lahey is available to talk about the nomination of Justice Nadon to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Justice Marc Nadon was partly retired which makes him an unusual choice for the Supreme Court.

Professor Lahey, who specializes in gender and equality, is disappointed that a male has been chosen to replace Justice Fish. If this nomination succeeds, it will continue to keep the number of women Justices to three – a level not seen since 2004, and a level that once again reduces women to a weakened minority of just 33 percent members of the Court.

“It is disappointing. True sex equality should, in this day and age, be reflected in every institution in Canadian society – and particularly in the composition of the top court. The job of redressing the historical gender imbalance on the Court has never been completed: Until Justice Wilson was appointed in 1982, the Court had been for men only, and overall, only eight of the 84 appointments in the history of the Court have ever been women,” says Professor Lahey. “The trend since 2006 has been regressive after the 2004 move in the direction of greater equality. If the current nomination succeeds, then five of the last six vacancies on the Court -- all since 2006 -- will have been given to men. This reduces the diversity and equity reflected in the Court, and sends the message that the wisdom and expertise of women lawyers and judges is still not valued equally with that of men in 21st century Canada.”

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Rosie Hales at 613.533.6000 ext. 77513 or rosie.hales@queensu.ca, or Anne Craig at 613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca.

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