Richard Wagner (judge)

Rosalie Abella Louis LeBel Andromache Karakatsanis

Richard Wagner

The Honourable Richard Wagner
18th Chief Justice of Canada
Assumed office
December 18, 2017
Nominated byJustin Trudeau
Appointed byJulie Payette
Preceded byBeverley McLachlin
Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada
In office
October 5, 2012 – December 18, 2017
Nominated byStephen Harper
Appointed byDavid Johnston
Preceded byMarie Deschamps
Succeeded bySheilah Martin
Puisne Justice of the Quebec Court of Appeal
In office
February 3, 2011 – October 5, 2012
Nominated byStephen Harper
Appointed byDavid Johnston
Preceded byLise Côté
Succeeded byDominique Bélanger
Personal details
Born (1957-04-02) April 2, 1957 (age 63)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Alma materUniversity of Ottawa, B.A, LL.L

Richard Wagner, PC (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 former Progressive Conservative MP and Senator Claude Wagner.

Early life

Wagner was born in Montreal, 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 Sciences 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 Justice Wagner's appointment, in the Supreme Court of Canada courtroom. The event was attended by Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson and Quebec Deputy Minister of Justice Nathalie G. Drouin. Each justice spoke with Justice Wagner speaking last.[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]

See also


  1. ^ a b MacCharles, Tonda (December 12, 2017). "Justin Trudeau names Richard Wagner new Chief Justice of Canada". Toronto Star.
  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". 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. Retrieved October 5, 2012.
  5. ^ "Supreme Court welcomes Justice Wagner to bench". CBC.ca. 2012-12-03. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
  6. ^ "Prime Minister names the Honourable Richard Wagner as new Chief Justice of Canada". pm.gc.ca (Press release). PMO. December 12, 2017. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  7. ^ "News Releases - SCC Cases (Lexum)". scc-csc.lexum.com (Press release). December 12, 2017.
  8. ^ "Richard Wagner". Canadian Who's Who 2014-2015. Toronto: Third Sector Publishing, 2015.