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Newly-appointed Federal Court of Appeal Justice Gerald Heckman and his Faculty of Law colleague, Manitoba Provincial Court Judge David Ireland, start their new roles almost immediately.

Newly-appointed Federal Court of Appeal Justice Gerald Heckman and his Faculty of Law colleague, Manitoba Provincial Court Judge David Ireland, start their new roles almost immediately.

Two UM Faculty of Law professors appointed to judiciary

June 13, 2023 — 

Two University of Manitoba Faculty of Law professors were snapped up by the judiciary within the last two weeks. On June 1, 2023, The Hon. David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announced that Associate Professor Gerald Heckman would be replacing Justice W.W. Webb on the Federal Court of Appeal. Just over a week later, Manitoba’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Manitoba, The Hon. Kelvin Goertzen, announced the appointment of Associate Professor David Ireland to the Provincial Court.

“While we are sorry to lose such excellent professors, the appointments of Professor Gerald Heckman and Associate Professor David Ireland to the judiciary are a testament to the exceptional quality of expertise and legal acumen at Robson Hall,” said Dr. Richard Jochelson, Dean of Law. “Their appointments reflect the depth of expertise and dedication to justice that our faculty possesses. It is a great loss for us, but Manitoba and Canada gain immensely from their talents. We are confident that Justice Heckman and Judge Ireland will serve with integrity, impartiality, and bring their wealth of knowledge and experience to their respective roles. We wish them every success in their new appointments and have no doubt that they will make significant contributions to the Canadian judicial system.”

Both newly minted Judges are busy cleaning out their offices this summer, since both appointments start almost immediately.

Justice Gerald Heckman.

Justice Gerald Heckman.

The former Professor – now Justice Gerald Heckman has much to do having taught administrative law, constitutional law, and language rights at Robson Hall since 2006. He also served as co-director of Robson Hall’s Concentration in Access to Justice in French. Fluent in English and French, Justice Heckman holds a Bachelors of Applied Science (Génie Physique) from Laval University, a Master of Applied Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo, a law degree from the University of Toronto, an LL.M. from Queen’s University and a doctorate in law from York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School. He has practiced labour, employment and human rights law and published extensively in the areas of administrative and constitutional law.

Justice Heckman served on the boards of several national organizations, including the Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals and the Canadian Association of Law Teachers. He regularly participated as a faculty member in judicial education seminars on administrative law organized by the National Judicial Institute and Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice. Justice Heckman served as a board member and president of the Association des juristes d’expression française du Manitoba, where he promoted initiatives to enhance access to justice in both official languages. 

Throughout his teaching career, he has been presented with several awards including The Barney Sneiderman Award for Teaching Excellence (in 2022 and 2016), the Olive Beatrice Stanton Award for Excellence in Teaching (2016), and the Students’ Teacher Recognition Award (CATL) (2010). This year he received the Faculty of Law’s Extraordinary Service Faculty Award, for his diligence, professionalism, and leadership in providing support to his colleagues in service work on Access to Justice in French and in service work with Manitoba Justice.

“I wish Justice Heckman every success as he takes on his new role. I am confident he will serve Canadians well as a member of the Federal Court of Appeal,” said The Hon. David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.

Newly appointed Provincial Court Judge David Ireland.

Judge David Ireland.

Judge David Ireland will take his seat on the Bench commencing immediately. He was appointed along with former Crown Prosecutor Mark Kantor.

“The Manitoba government and the public rely on judges for their integrity and impartiality, and trust they will deliver fair, learned decisions,” said Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen. “These qualities are essential for maintaining the public’s confidence in the courts and Judge Ireland and Judge Kantor will serve Manitoba’s justice system well.”

As an Associate Professor at Robson Hall since 2016, Ireland was the Director of Clinics and taught Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Advocacy, and Legal Profession and Professional Responsibility.

A graduate of Robson Hall, he was called to the Manitoba Bar in 2011 and practiced criminal law in both defence and prosecution work. Throughout his practicing career, he was involved in public interest legal work concerning inquests, public inquiries and human rights.  

First appointed a professor at the University of Manitoba Faculty of Law in 2016, he was presented with the Students’ Teacher Recognition Award (CATL) this April, 2023. In 2022, Ireland was very instrumental in expanding the University of Manitoba Community Law Centre to ensure more access to justice for Manitobans, and over the past year as Director of Clinics, worked to provide law students with more opportunities for hand-on experiential learning.

In addition to teaching, he led a full research program that centred on improving the delivery of criminal justice in Canada. His work interrogated the complexities of state/citizen interactions and aimed to lead positive policy change to improve equality and fairness in the criminal justice process.

The entire faculty, staff, student body and Robson Hall community at large, wish Justice Heckman and Judge Ireland all the best in their new appointments.

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