Memorial University and the Royal Society of Canada Governor General Lecture Series present Madame Justice Rosalie Abella on Feb. 3, 2011, at 12 p.m. at the Reid Theatre in the Arts and Administration Building. Her topic will be Culture and Justice: A Love Story. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Established in 2004, the RSC Governor General Lecture Series is the first national research lecture series in Canada. The lectures inform Canadians of recent advances in research (e.g. stem cells, law and society, value-added products from natural resources, nanotechnology, e-business, genetically modified foods, etc.), as well as to discuss policy implications (e.g. the impact of technology on society).
The Royal Society of Canada undertakes a wide range of activities to promote learning and research in the arts and sciences. It also organizes international exchanges and visiting scholar programs with similar national academies, and promotes Canadian participation in projects and conferences around the globe.
Madam Justice Abella received a bachelor of laws from the University of Toronto in 1970 and
was called to the Ontario Bar in 1972. She was appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal in 1992. She was appointed to the Ontario Family Court in 1976.
Madam Justice Abella chaired the Ontario Labour Relations Board, the Ontario Law Reform
Commission and the Study on Access to Legal Services by the Disabled. She was also a member
of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, the Ontario Public Service Labour Relations Tribunal
and the Canadian Judicial Councils Inquiry on Donald Marshall Jr. As well, she was sole
commissioner of the 1984 Royal Commission on Equality in Employment where she created the term and concept of employment equity. She was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada in 2004.
She is the author of over 70 legal articles and author or co-editor of four books on a variety
of legal topic and is a frequent lecturer, both in Canada and internationally. Madame Justice Abella taught at
McGill Law School as the Boulton Visiting Professor, and was a Distinguished Visiting Faculty
lecturer at the University of Toronto Law School. She has been awarded 20 honorary degrees,
including an honorary doctorate from the Law Society of Upper Canada, the International
Justice Prize of the Peter Gruber Foundation, and the Walter S. Tarnopolsky Award conferred by
the Canadian Bar Association and the International Commission of Jurists.
Justice Abella was born in a Displaced Persons Camp in Stuttgart, Germany, on July 1, 1946, and came to Canada in 1950. She is the first Jewish woman appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada.