Government of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Ontario
December 13, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada
The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointments 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.
E. Llana Nakonechny, a partner at Dickson Appell, is appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Toronto. She replaces Justice F.P. Kiteley, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective September 1, 2018.
Lorne Sossin, a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, is appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Toronto. He replaces Justice E.M. Stewart, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective September 26, 2018.
Jonathan Dawe, a partner at Dawe & Dineen, is appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Newmarket. He replaces Justice E.A. Quinlan, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective September 7, 2018. Due to internal transfers effected by the Chief Justice, this position is located in Newmarket.
Justice E. Llana Nakonechny was born and raised in Thunder Bay, where her parents, friends and family still reside. She received her B.F.A. in drama and voice from Brock University, her LL.B. from the University of Ottawa, and her LL.M. in international protection of human rights from the University of Essex in Colchester, England. She was a law clerk to the judges of the District Court of Ontario and was called to the Ontario bar in 1988.
Throughout her legal career, Justice Nakonechny practiced in the areas of family and estate law. She articled at the all-woman firm of Aitken, Greenberg in Ottawa. She practiced in Toronto with Lang Michener in the areas of family law, civil litigation and construction lien. In 1999, she joined the all-woman firm of Dickson Appell, where she practiced family and estate litigation at both trial and appellate courts until her appointment.
Justice Nakonechny was an instructor in family law at the bar admission course and taught law clerks at the Institute of Law Clerks of Ontario and Ryerson University. She also taught ensemble acting at Concordia University Faculty of Fine Arts. She is a part-time professor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Common Law, teaching family law and civil procedure, and is involved with the Walsh Moot team. She has volunteered with the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) and was involved in LEAF cases dealing with spousal rights and the feminization of poverty. She was co-counsel with Professor Gillian Calder when LEAF intervened in Dickie v. Dickie at the Supreme Court of Canada.
Justice Nakonechny is a former board member of Casey House AIDS Hospice, chair of its Foundation Committee and a past board member of the Music Gallery. She continues to be involved in the arts community as a performer and director
Justice Lorne Sossin graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1992 and was admitted to the Ontario Bar in 1996. He holds doctorates in political science from the University of Toronto (1993) and in law from Columbia University (1999).
From 1992 to 1993, Justice Sossin served as a law clerk to former Chief Justice Antonio Lamer of the Supreme Court of Canada. He then commenced his litigation practice with Borden & Elliott (now Borden Ladner Gervais). After faculty appointments at Osgoode Hall Law School (1999-2001) and the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto (2002-2010), he was appointed Dean of Osgoode Hall Law School and concluded his term in 2018. As Dean, Justice Sossin pursued initiatives for accessibility in legal education, the expansion of legal clinics and experiential learning, community engagement and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
A prolific writer, Justice Sossin is the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of 12 books and over 100 articles and book chapters across a wide variety of legal fields, including administrative and constitutional law, legal process, legal ethics, and civil litigation. He was the recipient of the 2012 David Mundell Medal for excellence in legal writing and was twice selected as one of Canadian Lawyer’s Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers.
Justice Sossin has contributed as a board member to numerous organizations, including the National Judicial Institute, the Law Foundation of Ontario and the Law Commission of Ontario. He also served as the Vice Chair of the Ontario Health Professions Appeal and Review Board and Health Services Appeal and Review Board, and as the Integrity Commissioner and the Open Meeting Investigator for the City of Toronto. Justice Sossin has been active in a number of community organizations, including as Chair of Reena’s Board of Directors.
He and his wife, Julia Hanigsberg, live in Toronto and have three wonderful children.
Before deciding to pursue a career in law, Justice Jonathan Dawe received a B.Sc. from McGill University (1987) and began doctoral studies in theoretical particle physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He graduated as Bronze Medallist from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 1994 and clerked for Chief Justice Antonio Lamer at the Supreme Court of Canada before receiving his LL.M. from Yale Law School in 1996. Justice Dawe was called to the Ontario bar in 1997. After practicing for 15 years in the criminal law group at Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP, he co-founded his own law firm, Dawe & Dineen, in 2012. He served as Associate Commission Counsel to the judicial inquiry in Manitoba into the wrongful conviction of James Driskell from 2006 to 2007.
Justice Dawe’s legal practice focused mainly on criminal appeals, and he participated in numerous significant appeals in the Ontario Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. A long-time member of the Criminal Lawyers’ Association (CLA), he frequently represented the CLA in Supreme Court interventions. He regularly served as a panelist on Supreme Court Advocacy Institute preparatory sessions for Crown, defence and civil counsel who had pending Supreme Court appeals.
Justice Dawe spent many years as an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, teaching courses on criminal procedure and the Charter. In 2014, he co-founded the Faculty’s criminal appellate externship program. He also co-wrote a book on criminal appeals for practitioners.
Away from work, he is an avid baseball fan, cyclist, kayaker, guitar player and occasional guitar builder. He grew up in and around Vancouver, and now lives in Toronto with his wife Judy and their two children.
Since taking office, the Minister of Justice has made over 240 judicial appointments, including over 100 in 2018 – the most a Minister of Justice has made in one year in at least two decades. Of the individuals appointed, 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.