Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced the appointment of the Honourable Nicole Duval Hesler, a Puisne Judge of the Court of Appeal of Quebec, as Chief Justice of Quebec – the first female to hold that position. She replaces Mr. Justice Michel Robert, who retired on September 1, 2011.

Madam Justice Duval Hesler received a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) (magna cum laude) from Marianapolis College in Montréal in 1964 and a civil law degree (LL.L.) (with  distinction) from Université de Montréal in 1967. She was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1968.

Madam Justice Duval Hesler was appointed a judge of the Court of Appeal of Quebec in 2006 and a judge of the Superior Court of Quebec in 1992.   Prior to her appointment, she was with the firm Buchanan McAllister, later known as McAllister Blakely Hesler & Lapierre, in which she became a partner in 1976.  She was a member of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal from 1979 to 1992.  Her main area of practice was civil litigation with an emphasis on tort law, product liability, construction law, insolvency and environmental law.

Both before and after her appointment to the judiciary, Madam Justice Duval Hesler has been a frequent speaker on various issues including human rights, the environment and the administration of justice for different organizations including the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice (CIAJ), Insight, the Canadian Bar Association and Canadian Judicial Council.  She has held various executive positions with the CIAJ, including that of President in 2003-2005.  She was a board member of the Canadian Bar Association Fund for the Future and a board member of the Osgoode Society.  She is currently a member of the Education Committee of the Canadian Judicial Council.

This appointment is effective immediately.

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