Appointment creates all-female Supreme Court, For the first time, the Supreme Court of Yukon is comprised of three resident judges who are women by Whitehorse Star, Dec 1, 2020
For the first time, the Supreme Court of Yukon is comprised of three resident judges who are women.
Karen Wenckebach, a Yukon government lawyer, has been appointed to the court.
She replaces Suzanne Duncan, who was appointed as the court’s chief justice effective Sept. 30, replacing Ron Veale, who had retired the previous July.
The other judge is Edith Campbell, who was appointed in 2018.
“I wish Justice Wenckebach continued success as she takes on her new role,” said David Lametti, the federal minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, who announced the appointment last week.
“I am confident she will serve Yukoners well as a member of the Supreme Court of Yukon.”
Wenckebach, the daughter of Argentinian immigrants, was born in Calgary and raised in Thunder Bay, Ont.
She began her post-secondary education at Montreal’s McGill University, where she earned a B.A. in History with a Minor in Women’s Studies, followed by a Special Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work.
After working as a crisis counsellor, she continued her studies at Toronto’s Osgoode Hall Law School. She earned an LL.B. in 2002, and was called to the bar in Ontario in 2003.
Wenckebach began her career as a law clerk to the justices and judges of the Yukon Supreme Court and Territorial Court.
After taking time off to begin a family, she joined the Yukon Legal Services Society in 2007 and practised family, poverty, and criminal law.
She continued her career with the territorial government, serving as legal counsel from 2013. During this time, she specialized in labour, human rights, and administrative law.
Wenckebach served her professional community in such roles as second vice-president and then secretary of the Law Society of the Yukon and member of the discipline committee of the Law Society of Yukon.
She has planned a media availability session for Thursday afternoon in Whitehorse.
“Justice Wenckebach has two wonderful girls and two enthusiastic if not always well-behaved dogs,” said a release announcing her appointment.
“She speaks Spanish fluently. She enjoys reading everything from classic literature to cyber-punk dystopian novels, running, and going on adventures with her partner in Yukon’s wilderness.”
Aside from the three resident judges, other senior judges from elsewhere in Canada can visit the territory to hear specific cases where needed.
At the Superior Court level, more than 415 judges have been appointed since November 2015.
“These exceptional jurists represent the diversity that strengthens Canada,” said the release.
“Of these judges, more than half are women, and appointments reflect an increased representation of visible minorities, Indigenous, LGBTQ2S, and those who self-identify as having a disability.
“The Government of Canada is committed to promoting access to justice for all Canadians.”
To improve outcomes for Canadian families, Budget 2018 provides funding of $77.2 million over four years to support the expansion of unified family courts, beginning in 2019-2020, it pointed out.
That investment in the family justice system will create 39 new judicial positions in Alberta, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
Federal judicial appointments are made by the Governor General, acting on the advice of the federal cabinet and recommendations from the minister of Justice.
The judicial advisory committees across Canada play a key role in evaluating judicial applications. There are 17 such committees, with each province and territory represented.
My fav of the comments:
A, Dec 4, 2021:
I find it interesting that so many people are incensed by the court being all-female. Were you equally enraged by it being all-male from its founding until 2018? I don’t remember reading a single complaint in all those years.
Deep breath, Dec 3, 2020:
We’ve had all dudes running the Supreme Court since it came into existence a hundred years ago. I can’t say as I’ve been happy with many of their rulings (aside from the Peel case) so let’s see what an all Woman Supreme Court can do for the next hundred. It’s gonna be okay fellas.
Hur dur, Dec 3, 2020:
Uh oh. Old white guy behavior might start being checked. The world is ending. Unless you are not old. And white. And male. You old and anonymous cry babies are hilarious. Good thing you are aging out and the youth are not replacing your political ideology. Phased out, replaced, obsolete. I understand your fear. It makes me happy. To quote the great philosopher Nelson muntz “ha ha!”
Reminds me of this scary white Caveman event in 2019 at Law Society of Ontario.
Lawyer Louis Century: “This picture sums it up. A handful of old time #stopsop in the front row and on the mic. An entire room full of progressive change makers right behind. Time is on our side.”
And, this tantalizing news below. How refreshing. I love this! Thank you thank you thank you. It’s wonderful.