Supreme Court Justice Michael Moldaver has announced his intentions to retire from the highest court in Canada on September 1st, months before his mandatory retirement date in December of this year.
Moldaver has been a sitting Supreme Court Justice since 2011, when then Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed him to the court.
Born and raised in Peterborough, Ontario, Justice Moldaver started practicing criminal law in 1973 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1985.
Prior to his ascension to the highest court, Moldaver was a member of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, and Court of Appeal for Ontario.
In a statement Justice Moldaver said, “It has been an honour for me to be a member of this country’s highest court for the better part of 11 years.
"During that timeframe, I have had the privilege of serving under two pre-eminent Chief Justices – Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin and Chief Justice Richard Wagner – persons of honour and integrity, courage and vision, who share a passion for justice and a fervent commitment to maintaining the rule of law, protecting an independent judiciary, and preserving an unparalleled justice system for all Canadians. For this, and so much more, they are owed a great debt of gratitude," He said.
When Harper announce Moldaver as one of the two justices to replace retiring Justices Ian Binnie and Louise Charron, there was concern that his lack of French disqualified him to sit on the highest court.
In Canada, Justices can hold office until they reach the mandatory retirement age of 75.
Chief Justice Richard Wagner said of the Justices retirement, "Justice Moldaver has made exceptional contributions to Canadian jurisprudence, particularly in the area of criminal law,” said Chief Justice Wagner. “Canadians have benefited from his humanity and deep commitment to fair and just results. His colleagues and I have profited from his wisdom, warm collegiality and wit. We wish him a very happy retirement.”
The opening sets up a chance for Prime Minsiter Justin Trudeau to extend his legacy on the court. Of the 9 sitting justices, 4 have been appointed by Harper, and 4 by Trudeau. Chief Justice Richard Wagner was appointed tot he court by Stephen Harper, but was chosen as Chief Justice by Justin Trudeau.