Ottawa (June 23, 2017) – The World Sikh Organization of Canada congratulates The Honourable Madam Justice Palbinder Kaur Shergill Q.C. on her appointment as a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in New Westminster. Justice Shergill is the first turbaned Sikh to be appointed to the judiciary in Canada. She had served as general legal counsel for the WSO since 1991 on a pro bono basis.
In today’s announcement by The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced three appointments to the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Justice Shergill was appointed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia in New Westminster, effective immediately. Justice Shergill has been a leading human rights advocate and has represented the WSO and the interests of the Canadian Sikh community in several landmark cases heard by the Supreme Court of Canada, including Syndicat Northcrest v. Amselem, dealing with freedom of religion, Multani v. Commission Scolaire, dealing with right of Sikh students to wear the kirpan in schools and Loyola High School v. Quebec (Attorney General) with respect to the right of a Catholic high school to teach the provincial Ethics and Religious Culture course from a Catholic perspective.
Justice Shergill is a prominent member of the Sikh community in Canada and is regularly invited to speak on human rights and Sikh issues both nationally and internationally. She was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2012 and is also a recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for Community Service. Prior to her appointment, Justice Shergill had a busy full-time private practice as lawyer and mediator with her law firm Shergill & Company, Trial Lawyers, specializing in commercial and civil litigation.
In addition to her volunteer work in the Sikh community, Justice Shergill also served as a Governor for the Trial Lawyers Association of BC and as a Director on the Fraser Health Authority Board from 2002 to 2008. She is also a past Chair of the National Administrative Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association.
WSO President Mukhbir Singh said, “The appointment of Justice Shergill is another milestone for the Sikh community in Canada. It is a matter of great pride that we today have the first turbaned Sikh appointed to the judiciary in Canada and that too someone who has worked so closely with our organization. Justice Shergill’s dedicated service to the legal profession and the community are well known and she has truly made a difference through her work. We were very fortunate to have had Justice Shergill as a key member of our legal team and we now look forward to her serving Canadians as a member of the BC bench.”
The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) is a non-profit organization with a mandate to promote and protect the interests of Canadian Sikhs, as well as to promote and advocate for the protection of human rights for all individuals, irrespective of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, and social and economic status.