Kenyan-born judge appointed to Supreme Court of Canada

Justice Mahmud Jamal
Justice Mahmud Jamal. [Photo: Courtesy]

Justice Mahmud Jamal has been appointed to the Canadian Supreme Court by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Trudeau on June 17 made history by appointing Jamal who is the first Muslim judge to be appointed to the highest court in Canada.

Jamal was born in Kenya in 1967. His parents were originally from India but settled in India before moving to the UK permanently.

He studied at Edmonton High School in the UK and later joined the London School of Economics. He was the first in his family to attain the educational success of this magnitude.

Jamal proceeded to the University of Toronto where he studied economics and furthered his studies getting a degree in common law and Quebec civil law at McGill University and a master’s in law from Yale Law School.

In his career as a lawyer, Jamal has appeared 35 times before the Supreme Court of Canada as a defence lawyer litigating civil, constitutional, criminal, and regulatory matters.

Trudeau in 2019 appointed Jamal to the Court of Appeal for Ontario.

In his appointment, the Canadian Prime Minister said that: “Justice Mahmud Jamal has had a distinguished career of which he’s remained dedicated [throughout] to serving others. He [will] be a valuable asset to the Supreme Court and that’s why I’m announcing his historic nomination to our country’s highest court.”

He is the first person of color to be appointed to such a position in Canada’s history.

He replaces retiring Rosalie Silberman Abella, the first refugee and first Jewish woman to sit on the court.