Richard Wagner Named New Chief Justice of Canada

Richard Wagner

Richard Wagner Named New Chief Justice of Canada


UPDATED December 18, 2017 3:20pmET

Richard Wagner has been sworn in as Canada’s new Chief Justice, to replace the retired Beverley McLachlin.

Watch today’s ceremony at Rideau Hall:

The 60-year-old former Quebec judge joined the Supreme Court of Canada in 2012.

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould spoke about Wagner’s appointment on Parliament Hill this morning:

Wagner was called to the Quebec bar in 1980 after graduating from the University of Ottawa. He argued his first Supreme Court case at age 26 and was appointed to the Quebec Superior Court in 2004 (followed by the Court of Appeal in 2011).

He spoke to CPAC in 2014 about the role of Quebec civil law in the courts, the Charter’s place in the justice system, the decision-making process, and the importance of clarity in the law.

Watch the extended interview:

Wagner also joined Catherine Clark on Beyond Politics in 2014. He talked about watching his father in the courtroom; Claude Wagner was an accomplished jurist in his own right, served as a Quebec cabinet minister under Jean Lesage, and was runner-up for the federal Tory leadership in 1976.

Watch the full episode:

And here’s Wagner being questioned by parliamentarians after his 2012 nomination to the Supreme Court:

Besides leading the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice heads the Canadian Judicial Council and the committee advising the Governor General on Order of Canada appointments.

The Chief Justice also performs a constitutional role as “Administrator of Canada” if the Governor General dies, becomes incapacitated, is removed from office, or is absent from the country for more than one month.

-Andrew Thomson