Bertha Wilson becomes the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada

June 21, 2017

Bertha Wilson

Bertha Wilson, Michael Bedford. Supreme Court of Canada Collection

1982

In March 1982, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau appointed Bertha Wilson to the Supreme Court of Canada, making her the first female justice in Canadian history. In the same year, Canada drafted its Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which enhanced the power of Supreme Court judges to affect public policy. During the 1980s, Wilson became known for her judicial activism. She defended abortion rights and played a key role in the Supreme Court decision to strike down Criminal Code restrictions on abortion in 1988.

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