Justice Rosalie Abella, a member of the Supreme Court of Canada, has been chosen by the Selection Committee as the 2010 recipient of the Bora Laskin Award. This Award, named after the late Chief Justice Bora Laskin, has been established by the University of Toronto to honour those who have made outstanding contributions to Canadian Labour Law.
Appointed a judge in 1976, Justice Abella has been a member of the Supreme Court of Canada since 2004. In a distinguished career devoted to public service, she has established a national reputation as an authority on the law of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Especially influential in Canada has been the report she authored as sole Commissioner of the 1984 federal Royal Commission on Equality in Employment, which created the concept of “employment equity”. An expert in family law (as a former judge of the Ontario Family Court) and of labour law (as a former Chair of the Ontario Labour Relations Board), Justice Abella has been a principal architect of many of the Supreme Court’s leading decisions in cases dealing with accommodation (Via Rail), disability (Fidler), pay equity (Canadian Airlines), unfair labour practices (Walmart in dissent), and the authority of administrative tribunals to give effect to the Charter of Rights (Conway).