Trudeau Government Appoints Former Lawyer of Notorious Terrorist Omar Khadr as Federal Judge
The appointment of Toronto-based lawyer John Norris was announced by Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould Monday. Elizabeth Walker, a lawyer and chairperson of the RCMP External Review Committee, was also appointed to the position.
Norris and Brydie Bethell were Khadr’s lawyers from August 2011 until they stepped down in January 2013. They represented him in his legal battle against the government’s Ministry of Public Safety in 2011, which ultimately resulted in the former child solder’s return to Canada. The criminal and national security lawyer has also indirectly been involved with cases involving Khadr in the past.
The lawyer has taken on several other high-profile criminal cases involving murder, suspected terrorism and sexual assault. According to his website, he has appeared in the Supreme Court of Canada about 20 times.
The Trudeau government’s appointment of Norris led to online criticism Tuesday. Several Twitter users expressed surprise that Trudeau — after agreeing to give Khadr a $10.5-million payout — would also appoint his lawyer as a judge.