Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella and Justice Bertha Wilson are Canadian Justices who have advanced the jurisprudence of equality and developed concepts of public responsibility for promoting human rights.
2003 Justice Prize Recipients
One of Canada's best known and most respected legal minds, Madame Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella has served on the Ontario Court of Appeal since 1992. She headed a commission to address the plight of women, Aboriginal people, the disabled, and other minorities in the workplace. She coined the term "employment equity" and set out strategies for protecting the rights of minority employees. Justice Abella has spoken of the need for constant vigilance against intolerance, and has cautioned that if one minority is at risk, all are at risk.
Madame Justices Wilson and Abella have broken barriers limiting participation of women in the legal system and enriched jurisprudence in Canada and beyond with their innovative vision and technique. They have advanced the jurisprudence of equality and developed concepts of public responsibility for promoting human rights. They have highlighted the need to overcome discrimination against groups subjected to historic and systemic disadvantage. As exemplary advocates for justice, they have, by their judicial work and their activity in the public realm, served as inspirational figures to present and future generations.