FACL BC Statement on the Appointment of Leonard Marchand as Chief Justice of British Columbia

20 Dec 2023 7:50 PM | FACL BC (Administrator)

The Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (British Columbia) Society (“FACL BC”) congratulates the Honourable Leonard Marchand on his appointment as the Chief Justice of BC and Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal of Yukon. As a Syilx person and a member of the Okanagan Indian Band, Chief Justice Marchand has made history as the first Indigenous Chief Justice of BC.

Chief Justice Marchand was a Judge in BC Provincial Court from 2013 until 2017, when he became the first First Nations Justice appointed to the BC Supreme Court. In 2021, he became the first First Nations Justice appointed to the BC Court of Appeal. Leading up to his impressive 10 years of judicial experience, he articled and practiced at Fulton & Company LLP in Kamloops since 1994. Throughout his practice, he appeared before all levels of court in BC and many administrative tribunals. He has dedicated much of his career to advancing reconciliation and supporting survivors of residential schools, including ​​advancing civil claims on behalf of survivors and helping to negotiate the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.

FACL BC recognizes and applauds the progress the new Chief Justice has made for Indigenous peoples towards being reflected in the justice system. In his own words in a recent interview, Chief Justice Marchand said: 

“It's important to have Indigenous voices throughout the justice system, so that we can start to establish, for the first time, a level of trust in a system that has such profound effects on the everyday lives of Indigenous people.”

FACL BC echoes the Chief Justice’s sentiment and is heartened to see him appointed to a position where he can continue to share and use his unique voice and perspective. We are sure that his appointment and an increasingly diverse judiciary will also benefit the larger community, including Asian Canadian legal professionals. FACL BC looks forward to seeing the changes Chief Justice Marchand will bring and his impact on BC’s justice system.

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