Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of British Columbia

28.02.24 20:18 Uhr

OTTAWA, ON, Feb. 28, 2024 /CNW/ - The Honourable Arif Virani, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointments under the judicial application process established in 2016. This process emphasizes transparency, merit, and the diversity of the Canadian population, and will continue to ensure the appointment of jurists who meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity.

Sandra Sukstorf, Military Judge at the Office of the Chief Military Judge, is appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Port Coquitlam. Justice Sukstorf fills one of the three newly created positions authorized further to the Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1.

Christopher Greenwood, Senior General Counsel at the Public Prosecution Service of Canada in Vancouver, is appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver. Justice Greenwood replaces Justice G.S. Funt (Vancouver), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective November 26, 2022.

Maegen Giltrow, K.C., Partner at Ratcliff LLP in North Vancouver, is appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver. Justice Giltrow replaces Justice G. Macintosh (Vancouver), who retired effective April 30, 2023.

Karrie Anne Wolfe, K.C., Legal Counsel at the Legal Services Branch, Ministry of Attorney General of British Columbia in Victoria, is appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Victoria. Justice Wolfe replaces Justice R.D. Punnett (Prince Rupert), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective July 23, 2022. Due to internal court transfers by the Chief Justice, the vacancy is located in Victoria.

Y. Liliane Bantourakis, Crown Counsel at the British Columbia Prosecution Service in Vancouver, is appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in New Westminster. Justice Bantourakis replaces Justice P.W. Walker (Vancouver), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective June 18, 2023. The Chief Justice has transferred Justice B. Elwood (New Westminster) into this vacancy. The vacancy is therefore located in New Westminster.

Quote

"I wish Justices Sukstorf, Greenwood, Giltrow, Wolfe, and Bantourakis every success as they take on their new roles. I am confident they will serve the people of British Columbia well as members of the Supreme Court of British Columbia."

—The Hon. Arif Virani, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Biographies

Justice Sandra Sukstorf completed her Master of Laws from Queen's University (2012) and a Master of Defence Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC) (2012) to augment a Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie University (1998), and an Honours Bachelor of Arts (Economics and Commerce) from the RMCC (1986).

Justice Sukstorf is a military veteran who most recently served as a military judge (2017-2024) presiding over courts martial across Canada. Initially a legal officer in the Office of the Judge Advocate General (OJAG) of the Canadian Armed Forces, she later assumed a key role managing the Investigations, Monitoring and Enforcement department at the Law Society of British Columbia. Throughout her legal career with the OJAG, she demonstrated expertise in military discipline, domestic and international criminal, and maritime law, contracting and agreements. Her specialized understanding of maritime and international criminal law proved instrumental in addressing legal challenges related to military operations of the Royal Canadian Navy. Notably, she was one of the inaugural legal advisers in the Copenhagen-convened legal working group for the Contact Group on Piracy off the coast of Somalia.

Justice Sukstorf's dedicated service was recognized with her induction as an Officer into the Order of Military Merit and the receipt of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Justice Christopher Greenwood was born and raised in Vancouver. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of British Columbia in 1989. After a brief period of travel, working as a letter carrier, and working on a business with his brother, he attended law school at McGill University and obtained an LL.B. in 1996. He was called to the bar in British Columbia in 1997 and to the bar of the Northwest Territories in 2009 and 2010.

Justice Greenwood began his career with the Department of Justice Canada and has worked at what is now the Public Prosecution Service of Canada since September 1997. During that time, he acquired a broad range of experience conducting trial and appeals, as well as providing advice on complex investigations. His practice included lengthy prosecutions involving criminal organizations, complex wiretap cases, and national security files. He represented the crown on numerous appeals, appearing in the British Columbia Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. He appeared in complex cases as well as travelling to and conducting court proceedings in various remote communities.

During his time in the PPSC, Justice Greenwood was a member of the National Litigation Committee, Prosecution Policy Committee, and B.C. appeals committee. He appeared regularly as an instructor for the PPSC, and as a guest speaker for the Canadian Bar Association, Continuing Legal Education Society of B.C., and other organizations.

Justice Maegen Giltrow, K.C., was born and raised in Port Moody. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English and Anthropology from Simon Fraser University in 1999 and a Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie University in 2003.

Justice Giltrow served as a law clerk to Justices Rowles and Southin of the British Columbia Court of Appeal before articling under Greg McDade, QC at Ratcliff and Company LLP in Vancouver, where she has continued to practice, most recently serving as lead of the Indigenous Law Group. Her legal career has focused on working for First Nations, primarily in Aboriginal and treaty rights litigation, as well as Indigenous child welfare matters. She has acted as counsel in precedent setting Aboriginal and treaty rights trials, appeals and judicial reviews. Beyond Aboriginal law, she has represented landowners, farmers and local governments in natural resource disputes and regulatory hearings, and has acted as pro bono counsel in public interest Charter rights cases. She was appointed King's Counsel in 2021.

Justice Giltrow has served as an elected member of the Vancity Credit Union Board of Directors, and was a founding Director of the Pacific Centre for Environmental Law and Litigation and of the Kilala Lelum Urban Indigenous Health and Healing Cooperative in Vancouver. She is also a past Director of the Savary Island Land Trust.

Justice Giltrow turns to sports for fun and relaxation, and above all, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her spouse George and their daughter Sonja.

Justice Karrie Anne Wolfe, K.C., was born and raised in Kitchener. She earned an Honours B.A. (High Distinction) from the University of Toronto in 2000 and a J.D. from the University of Victoria in 2004. During law school, she earned awards for academic achievement and community involvement, and completed three formative co-op terms. She was called to the BC bar in May 2005.

Justice Wolfe articled with the Legal Services Branch of the BC Ministry of Attorney General where she spent most of her legal career as a barrister, specializing in constitutional and administrative litigation. She has a broad range of public law experience, having appeared at all levels of court in British Columbia and at the Supreme Court of Canada, most recently in cases involving minority language education rights. Her legal practice has also included constitutional opinions, supervisory roles, solicitor's work, and advice to support both administrative decision-making and reconciliation. She was appointed King's Counsel in 2023.

Justice Wolfe was a member of the editorial board and a contributing author to the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia (CLEBC) Administrative Law Practice Manual. She has been a frequent contributor to various legal education programs throughout her career. She regularly volunteered as a practice judge for moots and also guest lectures at the University of Victoria's Faculty of Law, primarily in administrative law and advocacy. She designs lights for community theatre and has served on the boards of several arts organizations, including Intrepid Theatre and Lawyers on Stage Theatre.

Justice Wolfe and her husband, Todd Ayotte, are the proud parents of Joshua.   

Justice Y. Liliane Bantourakis was born to Greek and Franco-Ontarian parents. She obtained her undergraduate degree (B.A. Hons.) from the University of British Columbia and her law degrees (LL.B. & B.C.L.) from McGill University, graduating as the Aimé Geoffrion gold medalist.

Justice Bantourakis is fluently bilingual and has pleaded cases in both of Canada's official languages. After a clerkship at the Supreme Court of Canada for McLachlin, C.J.C., she joined the Department of Justice Canada in Vancouver, eventually becoming Senior Counsel and Special Advisor to the Regional Director General. There, she had a complex civil, administrative, and constitutional law practice. She later joined the B.C. Prosecution Service as criminal appeals Crown Counsel, specializing in criminal law and appellate advocacy. A career litigator, she has appeared before all levels of the British Columbia and Federal Courts and the Supreme Court of Canada.

Justice Bantourakis has been an advocacy advisor and British Columbia Regional Committee member for the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute and has spoken on a variety of public law topics at conferences and continuing legal education events.

Justice Bantourakis grew up in Québec, Ontario and abroad, but has long called British Columbia home. She lives in Vancouver with her husband and son, surrounded by close family and cherished friends.

Quick Facts
  • The Government of Canada has appointed more than 700 judges since November 2015. This includes 74 appointments since the Honourable Arif Virani became Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada on July 26, 2023. These exceptional jurists represent the diversity that strengthens Canada. Of these judges, more than half are women, and appointments reflect an increased representation of racialized persons, Indigenous, 2SLGBTQI+, and those who self-identify as having a disability.
  • To support the needs of the courts and improve access to justice for all Canadians, the Government of Canada is committed to increasing the capacity of superior courts. Budget 2022 provides for 22 new judicial positions, along with two associate judges at the Tax Court of Canada. Along with the 13 positions created under Budget 2021, this makes a total of 37 newly created superior court positions. Since Budget 2017, the government has funded 116 new judicial positions.
  • Changes to the Questionnaire for Federal Judicial Appointments were announced in September 2022. The questionnaire continues to provide for a robust and thorough assessment of candidates but has been streamlined and updated to incorporate, among other things, more respectful and inclusive language for individuals to self-identify diversity characteristics.
  • 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.
  • The Government of Canada is committed to promoting a justice system in which sexual assault matters are decided fairly, without the influence of myths and stereotypes, and in which survivors are treated with dignity and compassion. Changes to the Judges Act and Criminal Code that came into force on May 6, 2021, mean that in order to be eligible for appointment to a provincial superior court, candidates must agree to participate in continuing education on matters related to sexual assault law and social context, which includes systemic racism and systemic discrimination. The new legislation enhances the transparency of decisions by amending the Criminal Code to require that judges provide written reasons, or enter them into the record, when deciding sexual assault matters.

SOURCE Department of Justice Canada