TORONTO, ONTARIO – The South Asian Bar Association of Toronto (SABA Toronto) congratulates one of its most important members, the Honourable Justice Russell G. Juriansz, on his retirement from the Ontario Court of Appeal. After first being appointed to the bench in 1998, his ground-breaking and historic career included, among many other accolades, becoming the first South Asian appointed to the Ontario Superior of Justice and the first racialized person appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal. Justice Juriansz was sworn out of office on August 30, 2021.

Justice Juriansz was called to the bar in 1974 and spent 24 years as a constitutional and human rights lawyer, appearing before the Supreme Court of Canada on several occasions. He and his wife Kaye Joachim worked tirelessly to protect human rights in Canada.

To commemorate and honour the career and achievements of Justice Juriansz and his wife, SABA Toronto is proud to announce the creation of the Juriansz and Joachim Award for Excellence in Human Rights. The award will recognize outstanding singular or cumulative contributions to the promotion and advancement of human rights as defined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and other human rights legislation in Canada. The award will be presented annually at SABA’s Gala and Awards night, and will foster donations to the endowments currently existing in Justice Juriansz’ name at Osgoode Hall Law School.

Speaking at his swearing-out ceremony on August 30, 2021, current SABA President, Devin Persaud, thanked Justice Juriansz for his innumerable contributions to the bar and his passion for improving the law and the legal process.  Notable SABA members have also offered the following heartfelt messages:

As a lawyer, Justice Juriansz was a lion of the human rights bar. As a judge, he brought that same intelligence, thoughtfulness, and empathy to bear, which made him one of our finest. Justice Juriansz has been many “firsts” and, in just being so, South Asian lawyers across North America have stood on his shoulders. He has been a mentor to and champion for many lawyers of all backgrounds, providing sage advice and guidance on how to navigate our profession and our duties. His presence on the bench will be sorely missed but never forgotten.

Ranjan Agarwal, SABA President (2015 – 2017)

Humble, brilliant and supportive are the words that come to mind when describing The Honourable Juriansz.  His support of SABA since its onset and his model to our members has been inspiring.  His accessibility and engaging presence in the legal community has encouraged and influenced so many.  As the first South Asian Justice on the Court of Appeal, he has paved a road for many to follow and for that, we are forever grateful.

Sudevi Mukherjee-Gothi, SABA President (2010 – 2011)

Beyond the obviously tremendous intellect, Justice Juriansz carried himself with a charm and dignity that made me feel privileged to be in his company.  As I got to know him, my admiration grew as I understood what he went through being a trailblazer for the South Asians in Canadian society and our legal system.  His leadership and tenacity in pushing for greater meaningful South Asian representation in law firms and the judiciary was unwavering.  Justice Juriansz inspired many of us, including myself.  He is a reminder that we are never too old to find role models.

Bobby Sachdeva, Miller Thomson LLP

SABA Toronto congratulates Justice Juriansz on his retirement and extends heartfelt wishes to Kaye and the rest of their family on the next stage of their lives.

About SABA Toronto

The South Asian Bar Association of Toronto is Canada’s largest equity-seeking bar organization, dedicated to promoting the objectives of South Asian members of the legal profession. SABA represents South Asian legal professionals and ensures that their interests are recognized, respected and voiced with the Law Society of Ontario and various levels of provincial and federal government. SABA aims to unite its over 800 members, deliver programming for professional growth and advancement, promote access to justice and give back to South Asian communities.  Its membership is dynamic, ever-expanding and includes legal professionals from large and small law firms, sole practitioners, government agencies/ departments, non-profit organizations, and corporations. Members of the judiciary, academics and law students also form an integral part of SABA Toronto.

South Asian Bar Association of Toronto

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