Beverley McLachlin

The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada from 2000 to 2017, the first woman to hold the post and the longest serving Chief Justice in Canadian history. Raised on a farm in Alberta, she earned degrees in Philosophy and then her law degree at the University of Alberta. She practiced law from 1969 until 1975, and was a professor of law until her appointment to the Supreme Court of British Columbia in 1981, where she became Chief Justice in 1988 and was then appointed to Canada’s Supreme Court in 1989. As Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada she defined her function as requiring ‘conscious objectivity’, to put oneself in the shoes of the different parties, to understand how matters are understood from their perspectives. Her perspectives included those of both Common Law and Civil Law, and the legal traditions of Aboriginal peoples. In March 2018, she was nominated to become a non-permanent judge on the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal and sits as a judge on the Singapore International Commercial Court. She is the author of two books, Full Disclosure and Truth be Told, co-author of The Law of Canadian Architecture and Engineering, and author of numerous articles. She is engaged in arbitration and mediation, and works to further access to justice in Canada and abroad.

Meet the other Commissioners