The Honourable Rosalie Silberman Abella – A Life of Firsts
***In Person in Ottawa and Online***

Date: May 12-13, 2022
Price per person: IN-PERSON: Judge or Lawyer: $350 / Law Professor or Young Lawyer (5 yrs or less): $250 // ONLINE: $150 / Banquet only: $150 / Cocktail only: $50 // Table for the conference (6 people x $300): $1800 / Table for banquet only (10 people x $125): $1250 +++ Full-time students: free, online only. Registration link on this page.
Location: At Delta Hotels Ottawa City Centre, 101 Lyon Street North, Ottawa, ON K1R 5T9, and online


***This event is over.

Thank you to our Conference Partners:

Logo Stockwoods LLP                      Logo Supreme Advocacy                  Logo Henein Hutchison LLP  
Logo The Royal Society of Canada                         Logo Lenczner Slaght LLP                    Logo Goldblatt Partners LLP     

    Logo Juristes Power Law                          Logo Pape Chaudhury

Bilingual program with simultaneous interpretation
Participation in this program is accredited in provinces where CLE requirements for lawyers are mandatory.
Participation in this program is approved under Section 41 (1) of the Judges Act.

A celebration of a remarkable career and legacy

To mark the retirement of the Honourable Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella from the Supreme Court of Canada on July 1, 2021, the uOttawa Public Law Centre, the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, the Human Rights Research and Education Centre, and The Advocates’ Society will hold a two-day conference examining her influence on law and society. The conference will be held in person in Ottawa and online, from May 12-13, 2022. Register early!

  • Two-Day Conference offered in-person (breakfast, lunch, cocktail and banquet included) and online (live streaming)
  • Cocktail on May 11, 2022 (National Gallery of Canada)
  • Banquet on May 12, 2022 (Hotel)
  • Special fees!

 +++  Online participation is free for full-time students only. Please use this form:

Become a partner of the Conference: Reach decision makers and prominent members from all branches of the legal community and across the country. Discover the possibilities in the Sponsorship Package


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.

Conference Co-Chairs:

  • Gerald Chan, Stockwoods LLP, former law clerk to Justice Abella
  • Stephen Bindman, Visiting Fellow, Faculty of Law (Common Law Section), University of Ottawa
  • Professor Vanessa MacDonnell, Co-Director, uOttawa Public Law Centre, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law

Photo Credit: Philippe Landreville, photographer, Supreme Court of Canada Collection

Information & Registration

Please contact the Project Manager, Robin Duffie

Cancellation Policy:

  • 30 days or more before the event: Administration fees of $40
  • 7 days or more before the event: 50% of registration fees
  • Less than 7 days before the event: No refund

At any time, a participant may be replaced by another person without charge

COVID-19 Requirements

To protect everyone’s health, the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice requires participants, CIAJ staff, faculty members and speakers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they benefit from a recognized medical exemption. Masks are required to be worn at all times, except when eating and drinking. This requirement is in addition to any restrictions or vaccination requirements that may be in force in the jurisdiction or at the venue where the event is being held.