Congratulations to Shaun O’Brien, who has been appointed a judge to the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario in Toronto by the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.   

Justice O’Brien joined LEAF as Legal Director in April 2018 and subsequently became LEAF’s Executive Director & General Counsel.  She represented LEAF in several interventions related to the substantive equality rights of women and girls, including  R v Barton (addressing the law of consent in the context of the sexual assault and death of an Indigenous woman, Cindy Gladue), R v Gagnon (addressing the law of consent in a sexual assault perpetrated by a member of the military against a colleague), and Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada et al. v College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) (addressing women’s access to reproductive choice). LEAF is very grateful to her for all her service.

Prior to joining LEAF, Justice O’Brien was a lawyer and partner at Cavalluzzo LLP, where she developed a deep commitment to defending and advancing fundamental rights, with a particular focus on the rights of women.

The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) works to advance the substantive equality rights of women and girls through litigation, law reform, and public education. Since 1985, we have intervened in landmark cases that have advanced equality in Canada—helping to prevent violence, eliminate discrimination in the workplace, provide better maternity benefits, ensure a right to pay equity, and allow access to reproductive freedoms. For more information, please visit  

For inquiries, please contact:
Elizabeth Shilton
Chair, Board of Directors
[email protected]