Michael Tulloch, 1st Black appellate justice in Canada, appointed next Chief Justice of Ontario

Michael Tulloch, the first Black justice to sit on any appellate court in Canada, has been appointed as the new Chief Justice of Ontario.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tulloch’s appointment Tuesday, calling him a highly respected member of the legal community.

Tulloch is also the first Black judge to become Chief Justice of Ontario. The former Crown attorney in Peel and Toronto was first admitted to the bar in 1991 before he was appointed a judge of the Superior Court of Justice for Ontario in 2003.

He became the first Black justice to sit on a Canadian appellate court when he was elevated to the Ontario Court of Appeal in 2012.

LISTEN | Lawyer Charlene Theodore on the significance of Tulloch’s appointment and what it means for BIPOC people in the legal field:

Metro Morning4:55Lawyer Charlene Theodore on the importance of Michael Tulloch becoming the first Black Chief Justice of Ontario

Ontario has a new Chief Justice, and he’s also the first Black judge to sit on a court of appeal in this country. We hear about the significance of this appointment with lawyer Charlene Theodore, who made history herself.

The Jamaican-born, Osgoode Hall Law School-educated justice has led independent reviews of Ontario’s police oversight system and street check regulations.

Tulloch, who also assumes the role of President of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, replaces George R. Strathy, who retired at the end of August.

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.


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