March 8, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada
The Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointment under the new judicial application process introduced on October 20, 2016. The new process emphasizes transparency, merit, and diversity, and will continue to ensure the appointment of jurists who meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity.
The Honourable George R. Locke, a judge of the Federal Court, is appointed a judge of the Federal Court of Appeal. He replaces Justice A.F. Scott, who resigned effective October 22, 2018.
The Honourable George R. Locke was appointed to the Federal Court on April 10, 2014. Born and raised in Greater Montreal, he studied at McGill University, obtaining a B. Eng. in Mechanical Engineering in 1987, and LL. B. and B.C.L. degrees in 1991. He was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1993 and in Quebec in 1995. He was also certified as a specialist in Intellectual Property Law (Patents) by the Law Society of Upper Canada.
Prior to his judicial appointment, Justice Locke was as an associate and then a partner in the Intellectual Property Group at the Montreal office of Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, formerly Ogilvy Renault LLP. He was registered as a trademark agent in 1993 and as a patent agent in 2000. He was also a member of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec and of the Intellectual Property Section of the Canadian Bar Association.
Justice Locke is a Fellow of the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada, and was acting as its Treasurer at the time of his appointment to the Federal Court. Before and since his appointment, Justice Locke has written and spoken frequently on intellectual property issues, including at the IP Judges Forum of the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, Switzerland in November 2018, which was attended by IP judges from all over the world.
Since 2016, the Government of Canada has made over 250 judicial appointments.
Canada’s judiciary is internationally renowned and respected for its independence and diversity. In October 2016, the government introduced important reforms to the appointments process, aimed at strengthening the selection process. Of the individuals appointed under the new process, over half are women, eight are Indigenous, 20 identify as visible minorities, 13 identify as LGBTQ2, and three identify as persons with disabilities.
The Government of Canada is committed to promoting access to justice for all Canadians. To improve outcomes for Canadian families, Budget 2018 will provide funding of $77.2 million over four years to support the expansion of unified family courts, beginning in 2019-2020. This investment in the family justice system will create 39 new judicial positions in Alberta, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
In addition, Budget 2018 provided funding for a further seven judicial positions in Saskatchewan and Ontario, at a cost of $17.1 million over five years.
The funding outlined in Budget 2018 comes on top of resources allocated under Budget 2017, which created 28 new judicial positions across the country.
In addition, the Government will invest $6 million over two years, beginning in 2018-2019, to support the judicial discipline process through which allegations of judicial misconduct are investigated. In this way, the Government will ensure that a robust process remains in place to allow Canadians to voice their concerns and submit complaints about judicial conduct to the Canadian Judicial Council and the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs.
Federal judicial appointments are made by the Governor General, acting on the advice of the federal Cabinet and recommendations from the Minister of Justice.
The Judicial Advisory Committees across Canada play a key role in evaluating judicial applications. There are 17 Judicial Advisory Committees, with each province and territory represented.
Significant reforms to the role and structure of the Judicial Advisory Committees, aimed at enhancing the independence and transparency of the process, were announced on October 20, 2016. Sixteen Judicial Advisory Committees have been reconstituted to date.