OTTAWA, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau nominated Mahmud Jamal as the next member of the Supreme Court of Canada on Thursday.
"I know that Justice Jamal, with his exceptional legal and academic experience and dedication to serving others, will be a valuable asset to our country's highest court," Trudeau said in a statement.
Jamal is the first person of color to be nominated to Canada's top court. He taught constitutional law at McGill University and administrative law at Osgoode Hall Law School.
Jamal will replace Justice Rosalie Abella, currently the longest-serving Supreme Court justice, who will retire from the court on July 1 at the age of 75.
He was born in Nairobi, Kenya in 1967. In 1969, his family moved to Britain. In 1981, his family settled in Edmonton, Canada where he attended high school.
Jamal said he was raised at school as a Christian, and at home as a Muslim.
"Like many others, I experienced discrimination as a fact of daily life. As a child and youth, I was taunted and harassed because of my name, religion, or the color of my skin," he said.
Jamal said he is the first person in his family to attend university. He spent a year at the London School of Economics before getting his economics degree from the University of Toronto. He then went to McGill to study its common law and Quebec civil law before getting his graduate law degree from Yale Law School.
Jamal, fluent in English and French, was appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario in 2019 and appeared in 35 appeals before the Supreme Court of Canada on civil, constitutional, criminal, and regulatory issues.