History-making judge to receive honorary LLD

Posted: 09/18/2015

Justice JurianszThe Honourable Justice Russell G. Juriansz will receive an honorary LLD (honoris causa) from the Law Society at the September 25 Call to the Bar ceremony in Toronto.

He made history as the first racialized judge to be appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2004, and as the first person of South Asian origin to be appointed to the Superior Court of Justice in 1998. He also served as president of the Ontario Superior Court Judges’ Association from 2002 until his elevation to the Court of Appeal.

Justice Juriansz was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1974 after earning an LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto.

Prior to his appointment in 1998, Justice Juriansz was a lawyer for 24 years, both in government and private practice. He practised in administrative, constitutional and employment law, concentrating on human rights, labour relations, pay equity, pension and benefits and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

He has appeared as counsel before the Supreme Court of Canada on some of the country’s seminal human rights cases, including discrimination (Bhinder v. CNR and O’Malley v. Simpsons-Sears), sexual harassment (Robichaud v. Canada [Treasury Board]), and pay equity (SEPQA v. Canada [Human Rights Commission]).

Justice Juriansz’ passion for human rights extended beyond his career in private practice, as he was a frequent writer, editor and speaker on issues of equality and discrimination. He also taught human rights law and constitutional law at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law.

He will serve as the keynote speaker for the 230 new lawyers attending the Call to the Bar ceremony on September 25.