Harper nominates Quebec Justice Marc Nadon for Supreme Court seat
Published Monday, September 30, 2013 12:07PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, September 30, 2013 10:43PM EDT
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Monday that he is nominating Justice Marc Nadon to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Nadon, who currently serves as a judge on the Federal Court of Appeal, would fill the seat left vacant by Justice Morris Fish, whose resignation took effect on Aug. 31.
“I am pleased to announce the nomination of Mr. Justice Nadon, whose extraordinary body of legal work – as a longtime judge on both the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal; judicial member of the Competition Tribunal; expert in maritime and transportation law with almost 20 years as a practicing member of the Barreau du Quebec; arbitrator; teacher; and author – makes him an ideal candidate for the Supreme Court of Canada,” the prime minister said in a statement.
“His nomination is the result of an extensive review process that included consultations with prominent members of the legal community in Quebec.”
Nadon is the prime minister’s fifth Supreme Court appointee, and his appointment maintains the gender makeup of the court at six men and three women.
He is also the second consecutive male judge from Quebec to be appointed to the country’s top court. Richard Wagner replaced former justice Marie Deschamps last year.
Nadon received his law degree from the Universite de Sherbrooke and was called to the Quebec bar in 1974.
He spent 20 years at Fasken Martineau Walker in Montreal, working his way up to partner, until he was appointed to the Federal Court of Canada in 1993.
He was appointed to the Federal Court of Appeal in 2001.
Nadon is considered an expert in maritime law, and has covered the topic both as a lecturer at his alma mater and in extensive writings.
Nadon is also known for a dissenting opinion he wrote in the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision in the Omar Khadr repatriation case. Nadon sided with the federal government, writing that “Canada has taken all necessary means at its disposal” to protect Khadr during his time in U.S. custody at Guantanamo Bay. His two colleagues ruled that the government must request Khadr’s repatriation.
Harper selected Nadon as his nominee for the country’s top court from a short list of three candidates compiled by a five-member panel of MPs: three Conservatives and one each from the Liberals and the NDP.
The opposition hailed Nadon’s credentials, but questioned why a woman was not selected.
"This is the highest court in the land. And that has to reflect the population. Now, in 2013, to have twice as many men as women shows some inequality in terms of representation," NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair said.
"We're asking the government to be more careful in future in terms of the male-female representation on the court."
It is unclear whether a female judge was among the contenders, as the names on the shortlist were not disclosed.
Nadon will appear before a Parliamentary committee on Oct. 2.