Canada, June 24: Indians are making proud out there as Indian-origin Sikh human rights advocate Palbinder Kaur Shergill has been appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in New Westminster. On Friday Shergill became the 1st turbaned Sikh to be appointed to the judiciary in Canada, the World Sikh Organisation (WSO) of Canada.
Born in Punjab and immigrated to Canada with her family at the age of four Shergill grew up in Williams Lake, British Columbia, and received her law degree from the University of Saskatchewan. Presently she lives in Surrey with her husband, daughter and twin sons. Shergill volunteers as a high school debate coach, plays the tabla and harmonium, and is kicking her way towards a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. She is fluent in English and Punjabi, has a conversational knowledge of Hindi, and is aspiring towards fluency in French.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould, , announced the appointment . Welcoming the decision, WSO President Mukhbir Singh said: “The appointment of Justice Shergill is another milestone for the Sikh community in Canada. It is a matter of great pride that today we have the first turbaned Sikh appointed to the judiciary in Canada.”
The appointment was made with immediate effect as Justice Shergill replaced Justice EA Arnold-Bailey, who retired on May 31. Regarded as a leading human rights advocate, Shergill has been instrumental in helping shape human rights and religious accommodation law in Canada through her work as general legal counsel for the WSO since 1991. Shergill practiced as a lawyer and mediator with her law firm, Shergill & Company, Trial Lawyers.
Shergill was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2012 and is a recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for Community Service. She was called to the British Columbia Bar in 1991, she has held leadership positions both within and outside the legal community. She has been involved with the Cabinet of Canadians, the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia, and the Canadian Bar Association.