Reception with Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella

for LAPA Undergraduate Associates

Thu, 03/03/2011
3:00 PM, by invitation only
Event Category: 
Special Event
Undergraduate Students

LAPA Undergraduate Associates are invited to a private reception with Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella prior to her 4:30 talk at the Woodrow Wilson School.

This reception is by invitation only. If interested, please e-mail Judi Rivkin at

Justice Abella will be delivering the Harlan Lecture on Thursday, March 3rd at 4:30 PM in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall. Her topic is "Global Justice: The Power and the Pity."

Rosalie Silberman Abella was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada in 2004. She attended the University of Toronto, where she earned a B.A. and an LL.B., and graduated from the Royal Conservatory of Music in classical piano. Called to the Ontario Bar in 1972, she practiced civil and criminal litigation until 1976 when she was appointed to the Ontario Family Court. Abella was appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal in 1992. She was the sole Commissioner of the 1984 federal Royal Commission on Equality in Employment, in which she created the term and concept of "employment equity", a new strategy for reducing barriers in employment faced by women, aboriginal people, non-whites, and persons with disabilities. The theories of "equality" and "discrimination" she developed in her Report were adopted by the Supreme Court of Canada in its first decision dealing with equality rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Report has been implemented by the governments of Canada, New Zealand, Northern Ireland and South Africa. She subsequently served as Chair of the Ontario Labor Relations Board; Chair of the Ontario Law Reform Commission; and Boulton Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law of McGill University. Abella was also a Distinguished Visiting Faculty lecturer at the University of Toronto Law School. She has given hundreds of lectures and speeches in Canada and internationally, written more than 80 articles, and written or co-edited four books. She has been awarded the International Justice Prize of the Peter Gruber Foundation; the Human Relations Award of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews; the Honorable Walter S. Tarnopolsky Human Rights Award; and 29 honorary degrees. Abella was born in a Displaced Persons Camp in Stuttgart, Germany and came to Canada as a child. She is married to Canadian historian Irving Abella and they have two sons, both lawyers. She is the first Jewish woman appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada.