Black judge from Jamaica becomes new chief justice of Ontario, Canada

Michael H. Tulloch. Photo via York University

Jamaica-born judge of the Court of Appeal for Ontario Michael H. Tulloch has been appointed the new chief justice of Ontario and president of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who announced this on Monday said Tulloch replaces George R. Strathy, who retired on August 31.

“The Honorable Michael H. Tulloch is a highly respected member of Ontario and Canada’s legal community. As he takes on his new role as chief justice of Ontario and president of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, I wish him continued success. I know he brings a wealth of experience to the position and will continue to serve Ontarians well,” Trudeau said.

Tulloch was appointed by the governor general on the advice of the Canadian Cabinet and the recommendation of the prime minister. His role as chief justice is to lead and administer the courts while also serving as a member of the Canadian Judicial Council whose work is to improve the quality of judicial services in the superior courts of Canada.

Born in Manchester, Jamaica, Tulloch came to Toronto, Canada when he was nine. He was appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice for Ontario in 2003. He subsequently rose to the Court of Appeal for Ontario in 2012, becoming the first Black Canadian to sit on any appellate court in Canada, according to a statement by the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Before being appointed to the bench, Tulloch served as an assistant crown attorney in Peel and Toronto from 1991 to 1995 and then went into private practice, specializing in criminal law. In 2016, the Ontario government appointed him to conduct reviews which led to two extensive reports — the Report of the Independent Police Oversight Review in 2017 and the Report of the Independent Street Checks Review in 2018. While working as a Crown Attorney, he also served on the Government Response Team for the Commission on Systemic Racism.

Tulloch, who holds a bachelor of arts degree from York University and an LL.B from Osgoode Hall Law School, has been on various committees and boards, such as the Ontario Superior Court Education Committee and the National Judicial Institute. A former president of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, Tulloch was also a founding member and a patron of the Second Chance Scholarship Foundation and chair of the Advisory Board to the Black Business and Professional Association.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: December 21, 2022


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