Justice John Laskin Appointed to Federal Court of Appeal

The provincial inquest into the deaths of seven students gets underway in Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay District Court house

TORONTO – The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointments under the new judicial application process announced 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.

John B. Laskin, partner at Torys LLP, is appointed a judge of the Federal Court of Appeal. He replaces Madam Justice E.R. Dawson, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective January 14, 2017.

William F. Pentney, Q.C., Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General of Canada, is appointed a judge of the Federal Court. He replaces Mr. Justice M.L. Phelan, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective June 16, 2017.


Justice John B. Laskin practised litigation for more than 30 years in the Toronto office of Torys LLP. In his broad trial and appellate practice, he represented individuals, corporations, governments and their agencies, public institutions, industry associations, public interest groups, and Indigenous organizations. He appeared in the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Courts, every level of court in Ontario, the courts of seven other provinces and territories, domestic and international arbitrations, and a variety of administrative tribunals.

Justice Laskin is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and of Litigation Counsel of America, and has been a member of the Ontario Regional Committee of the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute. He has spoken, written and taught frequently on matters of public law and advocacy, and is co-editor of Canadian Charter of Rights Annotated. Before entering private practice, he was a professor in the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law.

Born in Thunder Bay, Justice Laskin holds a B.A. (with distinction) from York University, an LL.B. (as Gold Medallist) from the University of Toronto, and an LL.M. from the University of California at Berkeley. He is a past member of the board of Holy Blossom Temple and past President of the University of Toronto Law Alumni Association, and was actively involved in the founding of the Faculty of Law at Lakehead University. In 2015, he was awarded the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Law Society Medal, given for outstanding service within the legal profession where the service is in accordance with the highest ideals of the profession. He is married with three children and (so far) five grandchildren.

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