Supreme Court Justice Michael Moldaver will retire on September 1, ending a long judicial career that saw him sit on Canada’s highest court for more than a decade.
“It has been an honor for me to serve on the highest court in this land for nearly 11 years,” Moldaver said in a statement Thursday.
“During this time, I have had the privilege of serving under two distinguished Chief Justices – Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin and Chief Justice Richard Wagner – persons of honor and integrity, courage and of vision, who share a passion for justice and a fervent commitment to upholding the rule of law,” he said, “to protecting an independent judiciary and preserving a system of unprecedented justice for all Canadians”.
Moldaver was born in 1947 and grew up in Peterborough, Ontario. He began practicing criminal law in 1973, was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1985 and a judge of the High Court of Ontario in 1990 before serving on the Ontario Court of Appeal.
Considered an expert in criminal law, Mr. Moldaver taught at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto and is the former co-chair of the Canadian Bar Association’s Ontario Advocacy Symposium Committee. He has also worked with the National Judicial Institute to help train new judges.
When he was appointed to Canada’s highest court in 2011, the Bloc Québécois disputed the fact that Moldaver did not speak French.
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson defended the decision at the time, saying Moldaver was elevated to the highest rank in the nation because of his legal merit.
“Judge Moldaver has made outstanding contributions to Canadian jurisprudence, particularly in the area of criminal law,” Wagner said in the statement Thursday.
“Canadians have benefited from his humanity and his deep commitment to fair and just outcomes. His colleagues and I have benefited from his wisdom, his warm collegiality and his wit. We wish him a very happy retirement.
Even after stepping off the bench, Moldaver will still participate in the decisions of the cases he helped preside over for another six months.