After the tragic passing of Justice Leigh Gower late last year, the Yukon Supreme Court has officially filled the vacancy. In the cold afternoon of February 18th, while us in Ontario (and elsewhere) were spending time with loved ones on Family Day, Suzanne Duncan was formally sworn in as Yukon’s newest Supreme Court Justice. Duncan was contacted by the Yukon’s Department of Justice on November 30th of last year – around a month after Mr. Justice Gower’s passing – and informed that she had been appointed to the Supreme Court.
Madam Justice Duncan’s legal career has been long and distinguished, most recently serving as in-house counsel for the Kwanlin Dün First Nation. She earned a B.A. in Political Studies and History along with an LL.B. from Queens University, and later earned a Master of Laws (LL.M.) from York University, specializing in Civil Litigation and Alternate Dispute Resolution. Justice Duncan worked first as an associate and then as a partner for the Toronto-based firm McCarthy Tétrault for a total of thirteen years. For eighteen years Justice Duncan worked as counsel for Justice Canada (Canada’s Department of Justice). The rich and varied experience of Justice Duncan should be a boon for Yukon’s Supreme Court, as she has done extensive work in both the private and public sectors.
While I cannot speak for the CCLA, I believe that the organization would echo my best wishes to Justice Duncan. Described by the Yukon Law Society’s President Mark Wallace as “even-keeled and thoughtful,” I look forward to seeing Justice Duncan’s work from the bench.
This post was written by a CCLA-PBSC Rights Watch student. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCLA or PBSC.