An inside look at the Canadian Supreme Court

The bench of the Supreme Court of Canada – the only bilingual (English and French) and bijural (common law and civil law) supreme court in the world – currently includes three justices who were law graduates of McGill Law School, and the university’s Alumni blog recently published an interview with the three judges, Sheilah Martin, Mahmud Jamal and Nicholas Kasirer.

The Court works and decides cases in English and French, in all areas of law (such as family, criminal, and tax law).

The judges each give their own perspective on the job, and in particular how life at the Canadian Supreme Court differs from its American counterpart.

I was particularly interested in the viewpoint of Nicolas Kasirer, having very much appreciated his writings on legal translation (e.g. here).

This quote from Kasirer’s musings on being a Supreme Court judge, for example, is full of meaning for me:

if you speak multiple languages, you’re aware of a reality that transcends the language you know best

The full text of the interviews can be found on the McGill website.

On the home page of the Supreme Court’s website, you can watch a 10-minute video (bilingual, and alternating the two languages) in which Chief Justice Richard Wagner presents the Court and its work.


Hat tip to Professor James Archibald for making me aware of the interviews.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.