Wagner Named as New Chief Justice of Canada

The Honourable Richard Wagner Credit: Andrew Balfour Photography/ Supreme Court of Canada Collection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced the Honourable Richard Wagner as the new Chief Justice of Canada.

Justice Wagner was called to the Quebec Bar in 1980 and practiced law until being appointed to the Quebec Superior Court in 2004. He sat in the Civil Division, the Commercial Division, and the Criminal Division of the Quebec Superior Court until 2011 when he was appointed to the Quebec Court of Appeal. He was first appointed as a Justice of the Supreme Court on October 5, 2012.

Following current Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin’s retirement on December 15, Justice Wagner will take the oath of office as Chief Justice. On December 18, he will be sworn in as a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada.  “Justice Wagner is a distinguished jurist and a person of deep integrity.  I am confident he will lead the Court with wisdom and skill,” outgoing Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin said.

The Chief Justice fosters collegial decision-making on the Court, holds many leadership and administrative responsibilities, and represents the Canadian judiciary at home and abroad. Before choosing the Chief Justice, Trudeau consulted with the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, the outgoing Chief Justice, and other leading members of the Canadian legal community.  “I have the utmost confidence in his ability to lead the highest court of Canada, an institution with a long and respected history of judicial independence and excellence,” Trudeau said of Wagner.