The Honourable Malcolm Rowe

Justice Rowe was born in 1953 in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. He attended Memorial University from 1970 to 1975 where he earned a B.Sc., and a B.A. He attended Osgoode Hall Law School from 1975 to 1978, where he earned his LL.B. He was called to the Bar of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1978 and became a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada in 1986. 

Justice Rowe first worked as Clerk Assistant in the House of Assembly of Newfoundland and Labrador, where he served as procedural advisor to the Speaker. In 1980, he joined the Department of External Affairs as a Foreign Service Officer. In 1984, he joined the Ottawa office of Gowling and Henderson, first as an associate and then as a partner. While in private practice, he was part of the legal team that took the dispute over the determination of Canada’s maritime boundary around the French islands of St. Pierre et Miquelon to international arbitration. He was intensively involved in international negotiations and litigation concerning high seas overfishing on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. As part of this undertaking, he was also involved in negotiation of a new United Nations convention on high seas fisheries, initiatives at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and extended negotiations with the European Union. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1992. In 1996, he became Clerk of the Executive Council and Secretary to Cabinet in the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. While in this position, he continued to advise Canada’s litigation team in the high seas fisheries case brought by Spain before the International Court of Justice. Also while head of the public service, he was instrumental in securing a constitutional amendment to replace Newfoundland and Labrador’s denominational school system with a public system. Justice Rowe was appointed to the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court, Trial Division in 1999 and was elevated to the Court of Appeal in 2001.

Justice Rowe served as a lecturer in public and constitutional law at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, as well as Chair of the International law section of the Canadian Bar Association. He has published various articles on public and international law. He served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Superior Courts Judges’ Association. He was Chair of the Advisory Committee on Federal Judicial Appointments for Newfoundland and Labrador from 2006 to 2012. From 2002 to 2016, he was involved with Action Canada, a youth leadership development program, as an advisor, mentor and member of the National Selection Committee. He was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada on October 28, 2016.

Webcast of the ceremony in honour of the Honourable Malcolm Rowe, held on December 2, 2016.