Prime minister Stephen Harper announced the appointment of Russell Brown to the supreme court of Canada last week.
Brown grew up in Burns Lake and graduated from Lakes District Secondary School. His parents and two brothers still live in the area – one brother in Smithers and the other in Burns Lake.
His father, John Robert Brown (Jack), said he was not surprised about his son’s nomination.
“He’s done very well,” said Jack. “In the last four years he went from being a law professor to the supreme court of Canada; we’re very pleased about it.”
Before being appointed to the bench, Russell served as an associate professor and associate dean at the faculty of law, University of Alberta.
Russell had been living in Edmonton with his wife and two children.
He was appointed from the court of appeal of Alberta, where he also served as a judge of the court of appeal for the Northwest Territories and a judge of the court of appeal of Nunavut.
Russell received a bachelor of arts from the University of British Columbia and a bachelor of laws from the University of Victoria. He also received a master of laws and a doctor of juridical science, both from the University of Toronto.
The appointment is effective Aug. 31, 2015. He will fill the seat previously occupied by justice Marshall Rothstein. Russell will be the second member of the supreme court of Canada from a western province, the other being the chief justice Beverley McLachlin.
“I am pleased to announce the appointment of justice Russell Brown to the supreme court of Canada,” said prime minister Stephen Harper. “Justice Brown brings to the court wide experience as a law professor and legal scholar, a barrister, and a judge at both the trial court and appellate levels. His appointment is the result of broad consultations with prominent members of the legal community and we are confident he will be a strong addition to Canada’s highest court.”
The government’s consultations included provincial governments, provincial chief justices, the chief justice of Canada, the Canadian bar association, provincial law societies, and members of the bar and bench.
The supreme court of Canada is Canada’s final court of appeal. It serves Canadians by deciding legal issues of public importance, thereby contributing to the development of all branches of law applicable within Canada.