Justice Mia Manocchio, left, is sworn in as a Nunavut Court of Justice judge by Chief Justice Neil Sharkey Monday at the Iqaluit courthouse. Manocchio’s appointment was announced Monday by Sharkey and the federal Justice Department. (Photo courtesy of the Nunavut Court of Justice)

New judge named to Nunavut Court of Justice

Mia Manocchio’s appointment announced by federal attorney general

By Nunatsiaq News

Justice Canada has appointed a new judge of the Nunavut Court of Justice.

Mia Manocchio, former justice of the peace at the Government of Nunavut in Iqaluit, has been appointed to the position, announced Arif Virani, the federal attorney general, on Monday.

Manocchio began her legal career at the Centre communautaire de l’Estrie, which works to improve the health status of francophones and vulnerable populations in eastern Quebec, as a lawyer specializing in criminal law and youth law. She was admitted to the Quebec bar in 2003.

In 2005, she went into private practice in Sherbrooke, Que., and in 2012 began practising criminal law in Nunavut before moving to the territory in 2019.

In Nunavut, she worked as a lawyer at Maliiganik Tukisiiniakvik Legal Services in Iqaluit before being appointed justice of the peace in Nunavut in August 2022.

Manocchio has also taught law, both in Iqaluit and at a Quebec City-based school.

She also served as president from 2016 to 2019 with the Quebec association for defence lawyers, or AQAAD.

She was the recipient of the AQAAD Award recognizing excellence in her career path in 2020 and also a member of the executive committee of the Law Society of Nunavut.

“I wish Justice Manocchio every success as she takes on her new role. I am confident she will serve the people of Nunavut well as a member of the Nunavut Court of Justice,” Virani said.

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(19) Comments:

  1. Posted by John WP Murphy on

    How is a practicing lawyer appointed a Justice of the Peace? A year ago.

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    • Posted by JPs on

      Must be a made-in-Nunavut approach for people with no legal training to be put in decision making processes concerning people’s freedom. We get the justice we deserve.

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      • Posted by John K on

        Mia is very well trained and has accrued a ton of experience. You’re speaking confidently out your own ass.

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        • Posted by JPs on

          John you should check your reading competency since Murphy was saying a lawyer shouldn’t be a JP and I was saying the opposite. I’ve worked with Mia, and I’ll see she is better than many but mediocre at best. I didn’t realize she had political connections though, maybe Canada was keen on french.

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          • Posted by John K on

            Your comment is very poorly worded then. It’s not “a made-in-Nunavut approach”, it is the case in most jurisdictions that one can be appointed as a Justice of the Peace with quite literally ZERO legal training or experience. Some require that you have completed some sort of post secondary education but they’re usually very vague if such a requirement is mentioned at all. More often then not, JP’s are divided into “Presiding” and “Administrative” and any prerequisites are left to the discretion of the appointing authority.

            I don’t know that I am the one with the comprehension issue. And your comment’s vote ratio would seem to agree.

            And, “I didn’t realize she had political connections though” just makes you sound bitter. Were you in the running for this appointment too?

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            • Posted by Nope on

              No I am not in the running, maybe I’ll toss in next round though. I am not bitter at all, I am just outlining that the trend recently with judicial appointments, from the SCC down, is to focus on identity and language, not legal skill and knowledge. If merit was all that mattered, I could think of three dozen Nunavut lawyers who would be better suited. If you actually believe there is none of that going on with Mia’s appointment, you must be wet around the ears in the profession. Judges are political appointees, and what’s popular is more important than what’s best.
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              Back to JPs. This is made in Nunavut because no where else do they have people without high school degrees running bail hearings. JPs who are appointed in other jurisdictions without legal training perform marriages, not bail hearings. Nunavut is an exception that permits this. Only lawyers should be JPs, plain and simple. Every lawyer can tell you what happens on the regular when it’s not the case in Nunavut.
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              Also it looks like the vote ratios evened out so I can sleep at night.

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              • Posted by John K on

                “the trend recently with judicial appointments, from the SCC down, is to focus on identity and language, not legal skill and knowledge”

                Source?

                “If merit was all that mattered, I could think of three dozen Nunavut lawyers who would be better suited.”

                I know for a fact that none of them applied, I saw the list at the time so your point is moot.

                “This is made in Nunavut because no where else do they have people without high school degrees running bail hearings.”

                That’s not happening in Nunavut either. Again, source?

                “JPs who are appointed in other jurisdictions without legal training perform marriages, not bail hearings.”

                Yes. Just like I already said.

                “Nunavut is an exception that permits this.”

                Source? With the exception of JP Nicole Sikma (one of if not NUs first JP) I’m not aware of any JPs presiding over legal matters without legal training.

                “Only lawyers should be JPs, plain and simple.”

                You completely and woefully misunderstand the purpose of a Justice of the Peace. Plain and simple.

                “Also it looks like the vote ratios evened out so I can sleep at night.”

                7 up … 19 down. lol

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              • Posted by Anne Crawford on

                I personally cannot think of anywhere near
                to three dozen lawyers in Nunavut who are better suited, qualified and better merit such an appointment.

                I am simply happy when a judge is appointed who I can respect and who is connected to community in a lasting way. Mia wins on both counts.

                Actually being a judge in Nunavut is not a cakewalk. There is a lot of community travel, long hours, listening to many tragic and even overwhelming witnesses, the photographs are gruesome, the cases are charged with emotion … and often there is too much airport coffee.

                Please step up if you have the qualifications and character to take this on. There are still vacancies. I’ve not known party politics to be a factor in Nunavut appointments.

                If you have 10 years at the bar and a strong foundation in community, you should consider that this might be where you are able to serve.

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                • Posted by ungry man on

                  theres a limit to the kinda smi=uck that should be allow to post things here and also allow to be in justice, even to baance bokks they should nt allow clowns and smuck such as him

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                • Posted by Paul Fraser on

                  Thank you Anne! As always … a sound and sensible comment that accentuates the positive while encouraging the distractor to step up. Trusting all is well with you and your family.

    • Posted by Alan Klie on

      John P. Murphy, I’d like to respond but I don’t know what you’re asking. Are you surprised a lawyer was made a JP? Why?

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    • Posted by Drew S on

      Lawyers often become justices of the peace. Common in most Canadian jurisdictions.

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    • Posted by John K on

      I don’t understand the question. Lawyers are often appointed as Justices of the Peace. The Justices of the Peace act only stipulates that you must cease practicing law for the duration of your appointment.

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  2. Posted by Angnakuluk on

    as a former student, colleague and fellow member of the Nunavut bar, congratulations to Her Honour Manocchio!

    becoming a judge of this stature is no joke. any prospective person who wishes to serve the Nunavut Court of Justice must have at least ten years of meticulously documented lawyering experience. applicants are recommended to / are appointed by, the federal government, and are required to uphold the law to a country wide standard.

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    • Posted by Andre on

      last years i meet mia Manocchio, and talk about my case and i can say she is a very determine and Awesome lawyer. sadly, she could not represent me due to her promotion as Judge, I then won my case with another lawyer. but her welcoming and profesionalism really cheer me up in time’s of temendous Legal Trouble. thank you mia and congradulation. Andre in Iqaluit

  3. Posted by John WP Murphy on

    Just to clarify
    . I was not questioning any JP,s or lawyer s qualifications or abilities to sit as a Jp unlike some commenters here.
    There are many fine Jps in Nunavut. Many of them trained by the Cheif Justice himself

    My question was regarding a LAWYER as a JP In my many years involved in the system I dont recall a lawyer being appointed as a JP qt anytime which led to the question.

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    • Posted by John K on

      Lawyers are often appointed as Justices of the Peace. The JP whom Justice Manocchio replaced was a lawyer and returned to that field after the end of his appointment.

      Our Justices of the Peace Act only stipulates that one cannot continue practicing law for the duration of their appointment. In some Provinces you are also required to wait a prescribed amount of time before returning to the practice or running for an elected office.

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      • Posted by John WP Murphy on

        Thanks for that clarification, John. And now that I partly recall my time in Iqaluit, I do remember a call for a lawyer to join the JP division as the trainer. I don’t recall them actually sitting at the bench as a practicing JP. But as you so professionally pointed out, I could be wrong.

        • Posted by Alan Klie on

          I think John K was referring to Will McNair who was an LSB lawyer who became a JP in Iqaluit. He sat on many cases in regular court and also did bails. There was also Joseph Murdoch-Flowers who I believe was also a lawyer and appointed. He also was a regular JP doing regular court work and bails. I’m not sure if there were any others.

Comments are closed.