Attorney General appoints new judge to Yukon Supreme Court

Suzanne Duncan replaces the late Justice Leigh Gower, who died suddenly in October

The Attorney General of Canada has announced the appointment of a new judge to the Yukon Supreme Court.

Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould has appointed Suzanne Duncan, currently Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s in-house legal counsel, to serve as the territory’s third Supreme Court justice, Wilson-Raybould’s office announced in a Nov. 30 press release.

Duncan is the second woman in the Yukon Supreme Court’s history to be appointed a resident justice. The first, Justice Edith Campbell, was sworn in in June.

Duncan replaces Justice Leigh Gower, who died suddenly on Oct. 29, bringing the number of resident Yukon Supreme Court justices back up to three (along with Campbell, she also joins longtime judge Ron Veale).

According to the press release, Duncan studied at both Queen’s University and Osgoode Hall Law School, beginning her legal career at a law firm in Toronto, where she handled “a range of labour law and civil litigation matters, and also developed an immigration practice,” before joining the federal Department of Justice in 2000.

Duncan then moved to Whitehorse in 2006, and, in her time in the Yukon has gained “extensive litigation experience” with a focus on Aboriginal Law and Crown liability. She became the in-house counsel for KDFN in early 2018.

“The privilege of gaining a greater understanding of the experiences and culture of a Yukon First Nation and assisting in their creative journey towards self-determination has been a highlight of her career to date,” the release says.

Duncan has also served on the executive of the Yukon Law Society as the first vice president and chair of discipline, a member and chair of the board of directors for the Yukon Legal Services Society and chair of the Yukon Employment Standards Board.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

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