Palbinder Kaur Shergill becomes first turbaned Judge in canada
Palbinder Kaur ShergillCreative commons

Palbinder Kaur Shergill has become the first turbaned Sikh woman to be appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Canada.

It was announced on Friday by Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Jody Wilson, under the new judicial process which takes into account transparency, merit and diversity. Justice Shergill replaces Justice EA Arnold-Bailey, who retired on May 31.

Born at Rurka Kalan in Jalandhar district, Shergill migrated from Punjab to Canada with her family when she was four years old. She grew up in Williams Lake, BC, and received her law degree from the University of Saskatchewan. She was married into a family from Jagatpur village in Punjab's Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar district.

Being a prominent human rights lawyer, she has been doing her share by her pro bono work as General Legal Counsel for World Sikh Organisation of Canada. "Prior to her appointment to the bench, Justice Shergill practised as a lawyer and mediator with her law firm, Shergill and Company, Trial Lawyers.

Shergill has extensive trial and appellate experience and has appeared before courts and tribunals across Canada, including the Supreme Court of Canada. Justice Shergill was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2012 and is a recipient of the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal for Community Service.

Accepting the decision with open arms, World Sikh Organisation president Mukhbir Singh called Shergill's appointment as another "milestone for the Sikh community in Canada" and added that it was a matter of great pride.