Sikh-Canadian Lawyer Appointed To BC Supreme Court

TFG--banners website-F2Palbinder Kaur Shergill Becomes First Turbaned Sikh Woman To Be Appointed To The Judiciary In Canada!

Palbinder-ShergillJustice Palbinder Kaur Shergill is the first turbaned Sikh to be appointed to the judiciary in Canada.  She had served as general legal counsel for the World Sikh Organization (WSO) of Canada since 1991 on a pro bono basis. She is the daughter of Gian Singh Sandhu, one of the founders of WSO.​

By PD Raj – Senior Writer DESIBUZZCanada / DESIBUZZbc

OTTAWA – Well kCopynown Sikh-Canadian lawyer Palbinder Kaur Shergill Q.C. has been appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in New Westminster. 

Justice Shergill is the first turbaned Sikh to be appointed to the judiciary in Canada.  She had served as general legal counsel for the Palbinder Kaur Shergill (WSO) since 1991 on a pro bono basis and is the daughter of one of Gian Singh Sandhu, one of the founders of WSO.

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould announced three appointments to the Supreme Court of British Columbia on Friday including Shergill, who was appointed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia in New Westminster, effective immediately. 

Palbinder-Shergill2Shergill has been a leading human rights advocate and has represented the WSO and the interests of the Canadian Sikh community in several landmark cases heard by the Supreme Court of Canada, including Syndicat Northcrest v. Amselem, dealing with freedom of religion, Multani v. Commission Scolaire, dealing with right of Sikh students to wear the kirpan in schools and Loyola High School v. Quebec (Attorney General) with respect to the right of a Catholic high school to teach the provincial Ethics and Religious Culture course from a Catholic perspective.   

Shergill is a prominent member of the Sikh community in Canada and is regularly invited to speak on human rights and Sikh issues both nationally and internationally. She was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2012 and is also a recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for Community Service.  Prior to her appointment, Justice Shergill had a busy full-time private practice as lawyer and mediator with her law firm Shergill & Company, Trial Lawyers, specializing in commercial and civil litigation.

In addition to her volunteer work in the Sikh community, Shergill also served as a Governor for the Trial Lawyers Association of BC and as a Director on the Fraser Health Authority Board from 2002 to 2008.  She is also a past Chair of the National Administrative Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association.

WSO President Mukhbir Singh said, “The appointment of Justice Shergill is another milestone for the Sikh community in Canada.  It is a matter of great pride that we today have the first turbaned Sikh appointed to the judiciary in Canada and that too someone who has worked so closely with our organization.  Justice Shergill’s dedicated service to the legal profession and the community are well known and she has truly made a difference through her work.  We were very fortunate to have had Justice Shergill as a key member of our legal team and we now look forward to her serving Canadians as a member of the BC bench.” 

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About the Author

Raj Paul Dhillon is an award winning journalist based in Vancouver, Canada. He received his second National Best Editorial Award from the National Ethnic Media and Press Association of Canada, presented to him by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on November 21, 2010 in Toronto. Aside from an extensive writing/editing work with a number of newspapers and magazines (currently the editor of the South Asian LINK newspaper, the oldest South Asian newspaper in Canada), he has also done freelance writing for mainstream publications like The Vancouver Sun and Georgia Straight newspapers. He holds a degree in Communications and in Film from Simon Fraser University.

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