Canada appoints Palbinder Kaur Shergill as Supreme Court judge


| Ottawa, Canada | 24 June 2017 | Asia Samachar |

Palbinder Kaur Shergill – PHOTO / FACEBOOK

While kicking her way towards a black belt in taekwondo and running a Canadian legal firm, Palbinder Kaur Shergill does not look she’s about to stop.

She has been appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, marking yet another high profile achievement for the vibrant Sikh community in Canada.

Palbinder, who migrated with her family to Canada from Punjab, India, at the age of four, was a lawyer and mediator with her law firm Shergill & Company.

Called to the British Columbia Bar in 1991, she has held leadership positions both within and outside the legal community.

On the community front, she acted as a General Legal Counsel for the World Sikh Organization (WSO), a human rights advocacy group, since 1991. She continues to be actively involved in numerous landmark decisions in the area of Human Rights.

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Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould announced Palbinder’s appointment, along with two other Supreme Court judges, Leonard “Len” Marchand, Jr., and Michael J. Brundrett, in a statement released yesterday (23 June 2017) . See here.

The appointments were made under the new judicial application process announced on October 20, 2016, a process that is supposed to ’emphasise transparency, merit, and diversity, and will continue to ensure the appointment of jurists who meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity’.


Prior to her appointment to the bench, Justice Palbinder Kaur Shergill practised as a lawyer and mediator with her law firm, Shergill & Company, Trial Lawyers. She has extensive trial and appellate experience and has appeared before courts and tribunals across Canada, including the Supreme Court of Canada. Justice Shergill was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2012 and is a recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for Community Service. Regarded as a leading human rights advocate, she has been instrumental in helping shape human rights and religious accommodation law in Canada through her pro bono work as General Legal Counsel for the World Sikh Organization of Canada.

Justice Shergill was born in Punjab, India, and immigrated to Canada with her family at the age of four. She grew up in Williams Lake, BC, and received her law degree from the University of Saskatchewan. Called to the British Columbia Bar in 1991, she has held leadership positions both within and outside the legal community. She has been involved with the Cabinet of Canadians, the Trial Lawyers Association of BC, and the Canadian Bar Association. From 2002 to 2008, Justice Shergill served on the Board of Directors of the Fraser Health Authority, the largest health region in the province.

Justice Shergill volunteers as a high school debate coach, plays the tabla and harmonium, and is kicking her way towards a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. She is fluent in English and Punjabi, has a conversational knowledge of Hindi, and is aspiring towards fluency in French. She lives in Surrey with her husband, daughter, and twin sons.

Palbinder has acted as counsel in numerous major and complex litigation cases, including Charter and Constitutional law, US customs (relating to the Softwood Lumber Agreement), wrongful death, and murder, according to her profile at her firm’s website.

It said she has extensive trial experience, and has appeared as counsel before all levels of trial and appellate court in B.C., as well as the Supreme Court of Canada.

In addition, Palbinder has appeared at both the trial and appellate levels of the Federal Court of Canada, as well as before numerous administrative tribunals, including those constituted under the following Acts: human rights; employment standards; unemployment insurance; immigration; Canada pension plan; and workers compensation.

The Supreme Court of British Columbia is the province’s superior trial court. The Supreme Court is a court of general and inherent jurisdiction which means that it can hear any type of case, civil or criminal. It hears most appeals from the Provincial Court in civil and criminal cases and appeals from arbitrations. A party may appeal a decision of the Supreme Court to the Court of Appeal.


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