Chief Justice Glenn D. Joyal has been a judge since November 1998. Prior to his appointment as Chief Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba (now the Court of King’s Bench) in January 2011, Chief Justice Joyal also served as an Associate Chief Justice of that Court and as a judge of the Manitoba Court of Appeal and Manitoba Provincial Court. He has almost 25 years of judicial experience and almost 15 years in positions of court leadership.
Along with the performance of his responsibilities as a Chief Justice, he continues to preside regularly on significant criminal, civil, administrative and constitutional matters in both English and French. He has implemented and continues to oversee a number of important initiatives and foundational reforms in the areas of court modernization and access to justice, particularly as it relates to case flow and scheduling in Criminal, Civil, Child Protection and Family proceedings.
His work in public and private practice was in the area of criminal, constitutional and civil litigation. Chief Justice Joyal pursued his undergraduate and graduate studies at Simon Fraser University, McGill University, University of Paris at the Sorbonne, the University of Manitoba, and Oxford University. He also had extended study sojourns at the Scuola Dante Alighieri in Florence and the Instituto Michelangelo in Venice, where he studied both Italian and Italian civilization.
Since 2009, Chief Justice Joyal has served on the Canadian Judicial Council (CJC) along with Canada’s other federally appointed Chief Justices and Associate Chief Justices. In 2018, he was appointed by Chief Justice Richard Wagner to serve for a three-year term in the position of Vice Chair of the CJC. He was reappointed in 2023 to serve an additional three-year term as Vice-Chair. Following an earlier appointment by former Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, he also serves on the Judicial Conduct Committee as a senior member. He has also served and/or continues to serve on the CJC’s Executive Committee, the Governance, Public Information and Administration of Justice Committees, the Committee on Efficient Access to Justice in Superior Courts and he chaired for a number of years the CJC’s Superior Courts Trial Forum (a committee of Chief Justices of all of Canada’s trial courts).
In addition to his work on the Canadian Judicial Council, Chief Justice Joyal has served since 2015, as a member of the Steering Committee on Justice Efficiencies and Access to the Justice System. That committee was created in 2003 by the federal government as an independent body with a mandate to examine issues related to justice efficiencies and access to the justice system that are systemic and national in character and that may affect the justice system in a significant way. The Steering Committee includes federal and provincial deputy ministers responsible for justice, representatives from court leadership, the Canadian Bar Association, the Barreau du Québec, a representative from the Canadian Council of Defence Lawyers and representatives from the police community.
Chief Justice Joyal has also been a regular speaker, instructor and facilitator at various national academic and judicial fora. He has also been enthusiastically engaged in institutional outreach with various societal, community groups and First Nations in an effort to increase understanding and provide public information about the role of the judiciary, judicial independence and the rule of law and judicial reconciliation. In his outreach and in the implementation of court policies and practices, Chief Justice Joyal has been an active proponent of the judiciary’s potential role in enhancing a broader representativeness and inclusion in Canada’s justice system. Under his leadership, the Court of Queen’s Bench was one of the first courts in Canada to create a court committee specifically designed to address the TRC’s Calls to Action. Following extensive consultation with the bar and the LGBTQ2 community, the Court of Queen’s Bench was also one of the first courts in Canada to have formally enacted through a Practice Direction, a Gender Inclusive Pronoun policy for all court proceedings and practices.
Chief Justice Joyal is active in community service and has worked with various community organizations and served on Boards whose diversity ranges from the Cercle Molière (Canada’s oldest French-speaking theatre) and the Manitoba Art Council, to St. Mary’s Academy (Chair), St. Paul’s Jesuit High School, Balmoral Hall, the Winnipeg Library Board, the Manitoba Law Foundation and the Winnipeg Foundation Nominating Board. His interests in theatre have extended to the writing of plays that have been both staged and published in English and French.
Chief Justice Joyal is a past member of l’Association des juristes d’expression française du Manitoba.
Chief Justice Joyal is fluent in English, French and Italian.