Nov 5, 2021
The Supreme Court of Canada recently held its welcoming ceremony for The Honourable Mr. Justice Mahmud Jamal, who was officially appointed to the Court on July 1, 2021. Justice Jamal practiced with Osler’s National Litigation group for more than 23 years before being appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal in 2019.
In his remarks, Justice Jamal reflected on his family, education and legal career, one that brought him before courts across the country, including 35 appearances at the Supreme Court.
“When I try to connect the dots in my own life, to bring meaning to the seeming random particularity over 54 years, the only unifying principle that seems to stitch it all together is an abiding belief in pluralism, a belief in the inherent value of the diversity of nationalities, ethnicities, religions, languages, legal systems and perspectives that exemplify what it means to be Canadian,” he said.
“I know that for many people, my appointment adds another form of diversity to the Supreme Court,” Justice Jamal, who was born in Kenya and raised in England, said in French. “I am fully aware that this office carries with it an enormous responsibility, which I am very honoured to accept. And I want you to know that I will make every effort to do so.”
“I hope that the judicial oath that I took on July 1st will spur me to give back to the country that welcomed my family and which has given me so many opportunities to learn and to grow.”
Justice Jamal is the second Osler partner alumnus on the current Supreme Court, joining The Honourable Madam Justice Suzanne Côté. He remarked that he was especially honoured to wear the red ceremonial robe once graced by The Honourable Justice Madam Bertha Wilson, the first woman to be named partner at Osler and, in 1982, to be appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada.
The Right Honourable Chief Justice Wagner congratulated Justice Jamal on his distinguished legal career and appointment to the Court.
“Justice Jamal, you have made valuable contributions to our Court for decades,” he said in French. “And now, after your brilliant career as a litigator, and more recently as a judge on the Court of Appeal, I am pleased to warmly welcome you back to the Supreme Court, this time as a full member.”
“Since his arrival, Justice Jamal has impressed upon us all his keen sense of collegiality,” Chief Justice Wagner said. “Justice Moldaver told me recently, and I quote, ‘Mahmud is a natural. He has no agenda. His mission in every case is to do what is right and just for the parties, as well as for Canadians and the country as a whole. And he does so with a sense of modesty, humility, and a deep understanding of the human condition.’ I would add that Justice Jamal has also established himself as an engaging ambassador for the Court, especially when it comes to promoting the principle of access to justice.”
On behalf of everyone at Osler, we offer our sincere congratulations to Justice Jamal.
You can watch the full ceremony at the Supreme Court of Canada’s website.