Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced Mar. 3 new judicial appointments in Ontario. 

Faculty of Law alumna The Honourable Rita-Jean Maxwell (JD 2001), a Judge of the Ontario Court of Justice in Toronto, is appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. Madam Justice Maxwell replaces Mr. Justice M.G. Quigley (Toronto), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective April 14, 2020.

Justice Rita-Jean Maxwell was raised in a small town in northern New Brunswick by her Ghanaian father and Irish-Acadian mother. She is one of five daughters. She received her B.A. from Harvard University, her JD from the University of Toronto, and her LLM from Georgetown Law School. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 2002.

After beginning her career in civil litigation at McCarthy Tétrault LLP, Madam Justice Maxwell became an assistant Crown attorney conducting criminal prosecutions in Toronto. Her belief in the justice system’s capacity to deliver justice fairly and equitably to all led to her graduate work with the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project on a successful review of a wrongful conviction and to her role as a Visiting Professional at the International Criminal Court in the Hague. Before her appointment to the Ontario Court of Justice in 2017, she served as Legal Counsel to the Court of Appeal for Ontario from 2015 to 2017.

Justice Maxwell is strongly committed to legal education, teaching at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, Osgoode Hall Law School, Ryerson Law School, and numerous continuing legal education programs. She proudly contributes to increasing diversity and inclusion within the legal profession through her engagement with the LAWS Program, the Roundtable on Diversity, the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers, and the University of Toronto Future Black Lawyers Program, among others.

Justice Maxwell and her husband, Oliver, live in Toronto and love seeing the world through the eyes of their irrepressible son, Briar.

Read the full Department of Justice announcement