Thomas Cromwell (jurist)

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The Honourable
Thomas Albert Cromwell
78th Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada
Assumed office
December 22, 2008
Nominated by Stephen Harper
Preceded by Michel Bastarache
Personal details
Born (1952-05-05) May 5, 1952 (age 62)
Kingston, Ontario

Thomas Albert Cromwell (born May 5, 1952) is a Canadian jurist and current Puisne Justice on the Supreme Court of Canada.[1] On September 5, 2008, Cromwell was nominated to succeed Michel Bastarache on the Supreme Court of Canada by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.[2] On December 22, 2008, Cromwell was officially appointed to the court.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Cromwell was born in Kingston, Ontario, remaining there to attend Queen's University where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in 1973 and a law degree in 1976. He then earned a Bachelor of Civil Law degree from the University of Oxford in 1977. He also earned an ARCT Diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music in 1974.


He practised law in Kingston from 1979 to 1982 and was a sessional lecturer in civil procedure at the Queen's Law School from 1980 to 1982. He was a professor of law at Dalhousie University from 1982 to 1992 and again from 1995 to 1997; between these two periods he was Executive Legal Officer in the chambers of then-Chief Justice of Canada Antonio Lamer. In 1997, Jean Chrétien appointed him to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal as a direct appointment (meaning he did not serve on a lower court).[4]

When announcing the nomination to the Supreme Court of Canada, Harper stated that Cromwell would not be appointed to the bench until he had answered questions from an ad hoc all-party committee of the House of Commons.[5] However, this process was bypassed when Cromwell was officially appointed; Prime Minister Harper had expressed concern that waiting for the committee to meet would hobble the court in executing "its vital constitutional mandate effectively."[6] However, Parliament wound up meeting only very seldom after Cromwell's initial nomination, mainly because of a federal election called by Harper for October 14, and then the subsequent proroguing of Parliament on December 4, until its scheduled resumption on January 26, 2009.

See also[edit]