Brief Biographical Note of Justice Alison Harvison Young
Alison Harvison Young was appointed to the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in 2004. At the time of her appointment, Justice Harvison Young was Professor and the Dean of the Faculty of Law at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario . She had earned LL.B. and B.C.L. degrees from McGill University in 1983 and served as law clerk to the Honourable Justice W.Z. Estey from 1983-1984. She obtained a B.C.L. from Oxford University in 1988.
Justice Harvison Young was a member of the Faculty of Law of McGill University from 1988-1998, during which period she taught a range of courses including Foundations of Canadian Law, Remedies in Contract and Tort, Judicial Review of Administrative Action, as well as Family Law and related subjects. In 1997 she was the recipient of the John W. Durnford Teaching Excellence Award. During her years at McGill, she was also the recipient of the David Watson Memorial Award (with Rod Macdonald) in 1991. She was an active contributor to the life of the faculty, serving on many committees and as Associate Dean (Academic) from 1993-1995. She published widely in areas of administrative law, family law, and on the subject of new reproductive technologies.
Since her appointment to the bench, Justice Harvison Young has continued to pursue her interests in teaching and writing, first as a participant in the Legal Ethics and Professionalism "bridge" program at the University of Toronto, and also as a faculty member in the National Judicial Institute annual program for newly appointed judges. In addition, she has served as a co-chair and mentor in the law clerk program at the court. She is a regular speaker and contributor to a number of programs on written advocacy, including the Advocates Society annual weekend program on written advocacy for young lawyers. As the administrative judge responsible for the Toronto Small Claims Court (with approximately 55 sitting deputy judges), Justice Harvison Young developed a strong interest in issues of access to justice, an interest that has been reinforced while sitting in Family Law in Superior Court where the proportions of unrepresented litigants continue to increase.
During the 2017-18 academic year, Justice Harvison Young was granted a study leave to consider issues of access to justice in relation to the Small Claims Court and related challenges. During this period, she also participated in the life of the law faculty of the University of Toronto as the Judicial Visitor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. The final paper prepared and submitted to the Canadian Judicial Council was entitled: "Coming to a Courtroom Near You? Accessing Justice, the Changing Legal Profession, and Emerging Technology: The Road Ahead".
Justice Harvison Young was appointed to the Court of Appeal on August 29, 2018.