Court of Appeal of Quebec

The Honourable Simon Ruel

The Honourable Simon Ruel was elevated to the Court of Appeal of Quebec on June 21, 2017, after having sat on the Quebec Superior Court from 2014 to 2017. Justice Ruel studied law at the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Law. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and is currently completing a certificate in Russian language and studies at Université Laval’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

As a lawyer, Justice Ruel practised mainly in public and administrative law and in government affairs. He was a member of the Quebec Bar (1995) and of the Law Society of Ontario (2007). After beginning his career with the firm of Grey Casgrain in Montreal, he subsequently became a litigator and counsel to the federal Department of Justice, the Privy Council Office, and the federal Department of Finance in Ottawa. Before his appointment to the Superior Court, he was a partner at the firm of BCF Business Law in Quebec City and, prior to that, at the national Canadian firm Heenan Blaikie

Justice Ruel participated as counsel in numerous federal and provincial public inquiries and investigations. These included the Commission of Inquiry into the Sponsorship Program and Advertising Activities, the Cornwall Public Inquiry, and the Commission of Inquiry on the Process for Appointing Judges presided by the Honourable Michel Bastarache. He also appeared before the Manitoba Court of Appeal to represent the Manitoba Commission of Inquiry into the Circumstances Surrounding the Death of Phoenix Sinclair.

In addition to practising law, Justice Ruel taught public and administrative law at the Quebec Bar School and lectured on civil and commercial evidence at the University of Ottawa. He has authored or co-authored numerous legal publications, articles, and commentaries on public and administrative law and on inquiries. He has also participated as a speaker, host, or moderator in a number of legal events on topics covering judicial ethics, public and administrative law, public inquiries and investigations, criminal and penal law, the use of technology in the justice system, and judgment writing. Justice Ruel has served as chair of the Quebec Judicial Committee on Information Security (“COMSI”) and chair of the Judges Section of the Canadian Bar Association.

He is currently a puisne member of the Judicial Independence Committee of the Canadian Judicial Council and co-chair of the Council’s social media subcommittee. As counsel, he advised the Council on reforms to the disciplinary process for federally appointed judges and, subsequently, as a member of the Council’s Judicial Independence Committee, he participated in revising the Ethical Principles for Judges, which were updated in 2021.

Justice Ruel also has an interest in international law. In 2014, in preparation for the review of Haiti’s implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, he participated, on behalf of Transparency International/Haiti, in an international mission to assess anti-corruption measures taken by the Republic of Haiti.

Over the course of his study leave during the 2023-2024 judicial year, Justice Ruel focused on the law of war, international humanitarian law and international criminal law. He was a visiting professor at Université Laval’s Faculty of Law in Quebec City and took part in a number of teaching activities and seminars on these topics. He collaborated with the Faculty’s International Criminal and Humanitarian Law Clinic and with Lawyers Without Borders, including on issues relating to the prevention of corruption. He also made three visits to the International Criminal Court in The Hague as a visiting professional to observe all facets of international criminal justice in an active case involving the Central African Republic.