Court of Queen’s Bench Chief Justice Mary Moreau was presented with the 2018 Lillian Ruby Clements Trailblazer Award at a gala event held in Edmonton on February 22.
The prestigious award was handed out at the fourth Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association (ACTLA) Women’s Legal Forum, which was dubbed The Next 150 No Holds Barred.
Jeananne Kathol Kirwin, Q.C., one of the co-chairs of the Women’s Legal Forum 2018 committee, says Chief Justice Moreau was chosen for the award for multiple reasons.
“Her very recent appointment to the role of Chief Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench, the first woman to hold that post in the Court’s history, was already ample cause for celebration and the award,” said Kirwin.
“However, we also considered that while in private practice, CJ Moreau acted in several important Charter of Rights and Freedoms actions; as a Justice of the Court of QB she has been immersed in educational and other roles involving federally-appointed judges across the country; and throughout, she has been a leader in the francophone community in Alberta,” said Kirwin.
“She exactly fits all of the Award criteria and we are honoured that she accepted it.”
Kirwin said the Women’s Legal Forum was delighted that Chief Justice of Alberta, Catherine Fraser, also attended the event at the Shaw Conference Centre.
“To first of all have two women leading our province’s two top courts, and secondly to have them seated side-by-side at the head table with our esteemed guest speakers Marie Henein and Rumana Monzur, was extremely gratifying for WLF and we suspect, everyone present.”
On September 20, 1915, Lillian Ruby Clements became the first woman to be admitted to the Alberta Bar. Her journey was ground-breaking, given the political and legal environment of the time.
The Lillian Ruby Clements Trailblazer Award is intended to celebrate and recognize the outstanding achievements, commitment and leadership of a trailblazing female lawyer or judge who has, in the spirit of Lillian Ruby Clements, broken barriers and attained goals that continue to advance the role of females in the legal profession.