FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA, May 13, 2011 – The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada, announced today that Justice Ian Binnie and Justice Louise Charron have written to the Minister of Justice, the Honourable Robert Nicholson, to inform him that they will retire from the Supreme Court of Canada. Justice Charron’s retirement will be effective August 30, 2011. Justice Binnie’s retirement will take effect upon the same date or, if there is a delay in the nomination process, so soon thereafter as his replacement is appointed. The Judges Act provides that a judge of the Supreme Court of Canada may, for a period of six months following his or her retirement, continue to participate in judgments with respect to cases heard prior to retiring.
“The departure of Justices Binnie and Charron will leave an important void on the Court. Both have served the Court with great wisdom and dedication and have made significant and lasting contributions to the administration of justice in Canada. They are valued colleagues and friends. We will miss them” said Chief Justice McLachlin.
For his part, Justice Binnie said, “It has been an honour and a privilege to serve on the Supreme Court of Canada since January 1998. Much as I will miss the work and my colleagues, I am now well into my fourteenth year on the Court and the time has come to return to Toronto to pick up some of the threads of an earlier existence. I deeply appreciate the opportunities given to me to participate in the administration of justice in so many different capacities over more than 44 years and I thank those who from time to time made it possible”.
Justice Charron said, “I feel truly privileged to have spent the last years of my judicial career serving the Canadian people as a member of the Supreme Court of Canada. As promised when I took the oath of office, I have brought to this task my best, every day, whatever that could be at the time. I hope that I have lived up to the trust and honour that was bestowed upon me. The reasons for my decision to retire are quite simple. I have recently turned 60. My husband and I both enjoy good health. We have a great family and wonderful friends. I have been a judge for 23 years now and the seventh anniversary of my appointment to the Court, August 30 next, seems like the perfect time to move on”.
Justice Binnie was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada on January 8, 1998, after a distinguished career as an advocate in courts and tribunals across Canada and before the International Court of Justice at The Hague. Justice Charron was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada on August 30, 2004, after having served on the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Ontario Court of Justice (General Division) and the District Court of Ontario.
Chief Justice McLachlin concluded saying “I am certain that the Canadian government will give priority consideration to the appointment of two new justices of the Supreme Court with all the care and deliberation that is required in the circumstances.”