Justice Medal

2022 Recipient

CIAJ’s Justice Medal 2022 has been awarded to the Honourable Rosalie Silberman Abella, Retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, for her outstanding legacy, career & her influence on law and society in Canada and abroad. Congratulations!
(On the right: The Honourable Justice P. Colleen Suche, Court of King’s Bench of Manitoba; President, CIAJ) 

About The Honourable Rosalie Silberman Abella

Justice Silberman Abella was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada in 2004, the first Jewish woman appointed to Canada’s top court. Her remarkable life has been a series of firsts. Born in a displaced persons camp in Stuttgart, Germany, she had a storied career before joining Canada’s top court – as a practicing lawyer, a family court judge (the first pregnant person and first refugee appointed to the judiciary in Canada), law reformer (Chair of the Ontario Law Reform Commission), labor adjudicator (Chair of the Ontario Labour Relations Board), law professor (McGill Faculty of Law), appeal court justice and commission of inquiry head (her 1984 federal Royal Commission on Equality in Employment created the term and concept of “employment equity.”) She was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 1997, to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007, and to the American Philosophical Society in 2018 and in 2020, she was awarded the Knight Commander‘s Cross of the Order of Merit by the President of Germany. She is a graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music, has judged the Giller Literary Prize, moderated a Prime Ministerial Leader’s Debate and spellbound audiences around the globe with her oratory. She has left her imprint on the Supreme Court of Canada, the law in Canada and around the world and on Canada as a nation and as a global ambassador for Canadian values and jurisprudence.

About the Justice Medal

At CIAJ’s 10th anniversary, in 1984, a Justice Medal Award was inaugurated by the Board of Directors to be awarded every second year as a mark of exceptional achievement to a person who, in the opinion of the CIAJ, has shown distinctive leadership in the administration of justice in Canada, or by his or her writings or other endeavors, has made a significant contribution to the administration of justice in Canada.

2024 Justice Medal: Recommend a candidate!

The CIAJ Board of Directors invites you to submit your nominations for the 2024 Medal Award. The Medal will be presented at the 2024 Annual Conference on The Families and the Law, which will take place in Winnipeg, MB (October 9-11, 2024). Eligibility requirements are described below.


  • September 15, 2024. Please submit your nominations, pursuant to the Conditions of the Award listed below, to CIAJ’s office as soon as possible.


  • No member of the search committee is eligible for the Award nor any present member of the CIAJ Board of Directors who holds executive office is eligible for the Award.
  • Activities in furthering the CIAJ should not be considered as a main reason for the Award. Nevertheless, this might be considered as a supporting or subsidiary factor where a person was nominated primarily for his or her other achievements in or contributions to the administration of justice in Canada.

Conditions of the Justice Medal Award

  • All nominations for the Award shall be made over the signature of at least two nominators.
  • All nominations must be received by the Executive Director, no later than September 15, 2024.
  • Each nomination shall be accompanied by a full description of the work and achievements of the nominee which, in the opinion of the nominators, qualifies the nominee for the award, together with such supporting evidence as the nominator may wish the committee to consider.
  • The Executive Director shall refer all such nominations received by CIAJ to the search committee:
    − Every other year before December 31, the Executive Committee is to appoint a search committee consisting of not more than 5 members of CIAJ;
    − The search committee is to prepare a list of at least 2 and not more than 5 nominees who meet the eligibility requirements. The list is to be submitted to CIAJ’s Executive Committee;
    − The Executive Committee is to select the recipient of the Justice Medal from among the nominees on the list prepared by the search committee.
  • No award shall be made if, in the opinion of the Executive Committee, no nominee meets the above conditions.
  • A nomination may be resubmitted for consideration in a subsequent year.
  • The Executive Committee shall decide on or before September 30, 2024, who shall receive the Award. 
  • Recipients

    • Year Recipient
      2022 The Honourable Rosalie Silberman Abella
      2021 The Medal was not awarded due to the pandemic.
      2019 Professor Emeritus John McCamus (Ontario) and The Honourable Patrick J. LeSage (Ontario)
      2017 The Honourable Thomas A. Cromwell (SCC)
      2015 The Honourable Murray Sinclair (Manitoba)
      2013 The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin (SCC)
      2011 The Honourable René Dussault (Quebec)
      2009 The Honourable Frank Iacobucci (SCC)
      2007 The Honourable Justice Richard D. Schneider (Ontario)
      2005 The Late Honourable Alan B. Gold (Quebec)
      2003 The Late Honourable Constance R. Glube (N.S.) and The Late Honourable Kenneth M. Lysyk (BCSC)
      2001 The Honourable Horace Krever (Ontario)
      1999 Professor Ed Ratushny (Ottawa)
      1997 The HonourableClaire L’Heureux-Dubé (SCC) and The Honourable Sidney Linden (Ontario)
      The Honourable W. David Griffiths (Ontario)
      1995 The Honourable W. David Griffiths (Ontario)
      1993 The Late Honourable David C. McDonald (Alberta)
      1991 The Honourable G. Arthur Martin (Ontario)
      1989 Dr. W.A. Bowker (Alberta)
      1987 The Late Honourable Brian Dickson (SCC)
      1985 The Late Honourable Jules Deschênes (Québec)