Sheilah Martin

University of Calgary Honorary Degree Recipient

Sheilah Martin, BCL, LLB, LLM, SJD
Supreme Court Justice and former Dean of the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Law

Born in Montréal, Justice Sheilah L. Martin was trained in both civil law and common law before moving to Alberta. She received a Master of Laws from the University of Alberta and a Doctorate of Juridical Science from the University of Toronto. She was called to the Alberta Bar in 1989.

Her career as an educator, lawyer, and judge has been driven by a commitment to fairness and equal justice for all. Martin worked as a researcher and law professor at the University of Calgary, and from 1991 to 1996, was Acting Dean and then Dean of the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Law. From 1996 to 2005, Martin practiced criminal and constitutional litigation in Calgary, addressing issues of deep significance to Canadian society. She acted pro bono for the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund and the Alberta Association of Sexual Assault Centres in cases before the Supreme Court of Canada. She also acted as counsel for the Assembly of First Nations, contributing to the approach that led to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.

Starting in 2005, Martin worked as a trial judge for 12 years on the Court of Queen’s Bench as well as serving as a Deputy Judge for the Supreme Court of Yukon. In 2016, she was appointed to the Courts of Appeal of Alberta, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.

Her lifelong commitment to education is also demonstrated by her work with a variety of organizations on equality issues and judicial education programming. She was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada on December 18, 2017.

Sheilah Martin