Historic appointment: J’can born judge to Court of Appeal for Ontario Loop Jamaica

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Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Opposition Leader, Mark Golding, has lauded the historic appointment of Jamaican-born jurist Michael H Tulloch as the new Chief Justice of Ontario and President of the Court of Appeal for Ontario in Canada.

Tulloch, who is the first black judge to be appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario, replaces George R Strathy, who retired on August 31.

In announcing the Jamaican’s new judicial appointment on Monday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tulloch is a highly respected member of Ontario and Canada’s legal community.

“As he takes on his new role as Chief Justice of Ontario and President of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, I wish him continued success. I know he brings a wealth of experience to the position and will continue to serve Ontarians well,” Trudeau stated.

Golding, who is also president of the People’s National Party (PNP), said on Tuesday that Tulloch was a great jurist.

“Congrats to my friend Michael Tulloch, the new Chief Justice of Ontario. He’s a great jurist, committed to making the legal system more fair, efficient and accessible to all,” said Golding, himself an attorney-at-law.

“We worked closely on Jamaica’s justice reform when I was Minister (of Justice). His advice/energy was always positive,” he wrote on Twitter.

Other Jamaicans gave commendations to Tulloch on being the holder of Ontario’s highest judicial office.

“Wonderful to see our people succeeding wherever they make their new home! Congratulation Mr Justice Tulloch!” wrote one Twitter user.

“These people continue to fly the flag of Jamaica high. Congratulations” wrote another individual.

According to the Ontario Court of Appeal,

Chief Justices and Associate Chief Justices in Canada are responsible for the leadership and administration of their courts.

They also serve as members of the Canadian Judicial Council, which works to improve the quality of judicial services in the superior courts of Canada.

Chief Justices and Associate Chief Justices are appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the Canadian Cabinet and the recommendation of the prime minister.

According to the Canadian Immigrant Magazine’s website, Tulloch was born in Manchester, Jamaica. He came to Toronto, Canada at the age of nine.

The magazine had awarded him in 2013 and the Canadian Immigrant Award.

The Ontario Court of Appeal, in a statement on its website which provided more details on his legal career, said Tulloch was admitted to the Bar of Ontario in 1991.

He went on to being appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice for Ontario in 2003.

“He was elevated to the Court of Appeal for Ontario in 2012, becoming the first Black Canadian to sit on any appellate court in Canada,” the statement informed.

Prior to his appointment to the bench, Tulloch had served as an assistant Crown Attorney in Peel and Toronto from 1991 to 1995 before entering private practice, where he specialised in criminal law.

In 2016, Tulloch was appointed by the Ontario government to conduct important reviews which resulted in two extensive reports: the Report of the Independent Police Oversight Review (2017) and the Report of the Independent Street Checks Review (2018).

He served on the Canadian Government’s Response Team for the Commission on Systemic Racism while working as a Crown Attorney. He was chair of a review panel on Osgoode Hall Law School’s admissions policy in 2006.

Tulloch has served on various committees and boards, including the Ontario Superior Court Education Committee, the National Judicial Institute, and the Commissioner’s Judicial Advisory Committee on International Engagement.

He was a distinguished fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto and a Distinguished Research Fellow in the Centre of Law and Policy at Ryerson University (now Toronto Metropolitan University).

Tulloch was a founding member and a patron of the Second Chance Scholarship Foundation and chair of the Advisory Board to the Black Business and Professional Association.

He holds a bachelor’s of arts degree from York University and a LL.B from Osgoode Hall Law School.

He has also received honourary Doctor of Laws degrees from the Toronto Metropolitan University, the University of Guelph, and the Law Society of Ontario, as well as an honourary Doctor of Divinity degree from Tyndale