Richard Wagner (judge)
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Richard Wagner Judge

Richard Wagner

The Honourable Richard Wagner
18th Chief Justice of Canada

December 18, 2017
Justin Trudeau
Julie Payette
Beverley McLachlin
Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada

October 5, 2012 - December 18, 2017
Stephen Harper
David Johnston
Marie Deschamps
Sheilah Martin
Puisne Justice of the Quebec Court of Appeal

February 3, 2011 - October 5, 2012
Stephen Harper
David Johnston
Lise Côté
Dominique Bélanger
Personal details
Born (1957-04-02) April 2, 1957 (age 63)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Alma materUniversity of Ottawa, BSocSc, LLL

Richard Wagner (born April 2, 1957) is a Canadian jurist who serves as the 18th and current chief justice of Canada. He was sworn into office on December 18, 2017, having previously served as a puisne justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. He previously sat on the Quebec Court of Appeal.[2] He is the son of Claude Wagner, a former member of Parliament and senator.

Early life

Wagner was born in Montreal, Quebec, the son of Gisèle (née Normandeau) and Claude Wagner.[2] He studied at the Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf in Montreal before receiving his bachelor of social science in political science from the University of Ottawa in 1978. He received his LL.L. from the same institution in 1979.[2]


Wagner was called to the Quebec Bar in 1980, and began practice at the Montreal law firm Lavery, de Billy (formerly Lavery, O'Brien and Lavery, Johnston, Clark, Carrière, Mason & Associés). His practice centred on real estate, commercial litigation and professional liability insurance.[2]

He was appointed to the Quebec Superior Court for the district of Montreal on September 24, 2004. On February 3, 2011, he was elevated to the Court of Appeal of Quebec.

On October 2, 2012, Prime Minister Stephen Harper nominated him to the Supreme Court of Canada to replace retiring Justice Marie Deschamps.[3] His appointment was confirmed on October 5, 2012.[4]

On December 3, 2012, a ceremony was held for Wagner's appointment in the Supreme Court of Canada courtroom. The event was attended by outgoing chief justice Beverley McLachlin, the federal minister of justice and attorney general, Rob Nicholson and the Quebec deputy minister of justice, Nathalie G. Drouin.[5]

On December 12, 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau nominated Wagner as Beverly McLachlin's successor as chief justice of Canada.[6][7]

Personal life

Wagner is a Roman Catholic.[8] Wagner's father Claude was also a jurist. His grandfather was a German Jewish immigrant originally from Bavaria. He has two children who are also lawyers.[1]


Commonwealth honours

Country Date Appointment Post-nominal letters
 Canada 18 December 2017 – Present Member of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada PC


Honorary degrees
Location Date School Degree Gave Commencement Address
 Ontario 19 June 2019 University of Ottawa Doctorate Yes [9]

Memberships and fellowships

Country Date Organisation Position
 United States of America American College of Trial Lawyers Honorary Fellow [10]

See also


  1. ^ a b MacCharles, Tonda (12 December 2017). "Justin Trudeau names Richard Wagner new Chief Justice of Canada". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 12 December 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Quebec Court of Appeal. The Honourable Richard Wagner. Retrieved 2 October 2012. Archived 17 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ CBC News (2 October 2012). "Quebec judge Richard Wagner nominated to Supreme Court" Archived 2012-10-03 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  4. ^ The Canadian Press. "CBC News - MP questions 'introduce' Supreme Court nominee Wagner Montreal judge is Conservative government's 5th appointment". CBC News. CBC News. Archived from the original on 11 December 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  5. ^ "Supreme Court welcomes Justice Wagner to bench". 3 December 2012. Archived from the original on 4 December 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  6. ^ "Prime Minister names the Honourable Richard Wagner as new Chief Justice of Canada". (Press release). PMO. 12 December 2017. Archived from the original on 23 July 2019. Retrieved 2017.
  7. ^ "News Releases - SCC Cases (Lexum)". (Press release). 12 December 2017. Archived from the original on 12 December 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ "Richard Wagner". Canadian Who's Who 2014-2015. Toronto: Third Sector Publishing, 2015.
  9. ^
  10. ^

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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