Indian-origin Justice Mahmud Jamal has become the first non-white person to be nominated to the Supreme Court of Canada.
He has been elevated from the Court of Appeal for Ontario where he has served since 2019.
Justice Jamal was born in 1967 in Nairobi where his family had migrated from India a generation earlier.
The family later moved to the UK in 1969.
He came to Canada in 1981 with his family and studied at the University of Toronto for his degree before going to McGill University and then Yale University to study law.
“I am pleased to announce the nomination of Justice Mahmud Jamal to the Supreme Court of Canada. Respected around the world, Canada’s Supreme Court is known for its strength, independence, and judicial excellence,” Prime Minister Trudeau said while nominating Justice Jamal to the apex court.
“Justice Jamal, with his exceptional legal and academic experience and dedication to serving others, will be a valuable asset to our country’s highest court.”
Fluent in English and French, Justice Jamal has appeared in 35 appeals before the Supreme Court on civil, constitutional, criminal, and regulatory issues.
Justice Jamal is married to Goleta who fled to Canada as a teenager refugee to escape the persecution of her Baha’i faith after the 1979 Revolution in Iran.
He converted to the Baha’i faith after their marriage.
“Like many others, I experienced discrimination as a fact of daily life. As a child and youth, I was taunted and harassed because of my name, religion, or the colour of my skin,” Jamal had stated.
The nominee will be screened by the House of Commons justice committee as a formality before the confirmation of his appointment.