Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella’s remarkable judicial career and extraordinary contribution to her community was celebrated during the University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) Spring Convocation ceremonies on June 8, when she was awarded an honorary degree.
During her acceptance speech, Justice Abella gave thanks to friends and family and called upon the crowd to applaud the graduates in attendance.
“Justice, not just law, is the transcendent goal if we want a fair society. And it not only belongs to everyone, everyone has a duty to protect and promote it,” said Abella during her address.
“Today is a day for celebration and hope. So let me tell you why I am so hopeful and so grateful to Canada for how far we have come. I admit that we still have a lot to do, and smugness should never be on the national agenda. But let’s focus today on why we’ve earned the right to feel proud of Canada’s justice journey so far, and why we need to cherish the ever-increasing Canadian trajectory towards more and more inclusion, fairness, and social justice so that the next generation can look backward and forward with the same pride and hope we feel today.”
In addition to her many accolades as the youngest judge in Canadian history and the country’s first female Jewish Supreme Court Judge, Justice Abella’s amazing story is now detailed in a feature-length documentary devoted to her myriad achievements. In a recent review in the Globe and Mail, Without Precedent: The Supreme Life of Rosalie Abella, is described as “heartwarming as it is deeply inspiring.”
USask President and Vice-Chancellor Peter Stoicheff said the university is honoured to highlight and celebrate the achievements of Justice Abella’s accomplishments.
“Justice Abella is one of the most influential and groundbreaking Supreme Court justices this country has ever known. Her decades-long judicial career devoted to the advancement of justice, equity, and human dignity has significantly shaped Canadian law and society.”