Justice Margaret Ann Scott received the 2017 OJEN Chief Justices’ Award at a ceremony presided over by Chief Justice George Strathy and Chief Justice Lise Maisonneuve on March 29th.
The Chief Justices’ Award is an annual award created by the three Chief Justices of Ontario’s courts. It honours individuals who make exceptional contributions to promoting public understanding of the justice system. Past recipients include judges, teachers, lawyers, court staff and community organizers.
The award recognizes Justice Scott’s commitment to justice education in the Durham region. She was nominated by Justice Mary Teresa Devlin, Justice Fran Kiteley, Justice Allan R. Rowsell, Stephanie Ball, George Hendry and Bryan Metcalf.
Justice Scott was appointed to Family Branch of the Superior Court in 1999. In 2002 she was the driving force behind the establishment of the Durham Public Legal Education Committee with the purpose of providing justice education programs for the youth of the local community. For the last 15 years she has co-chaired this committee, a partnership between members of the justice and education sectors. She played an important role in initiating many of the key programs of the Committee, including the Adopt-a-School program, Courthouse Visits, the Grade 5 Poster Challenge and the Grade 5 Law Day event – a program which attracts 300 students to the Oshawa courthouse each year.
However, Justice Scott is best known for the many visits she makes to speak to students in their classrooms and assist in their mock trial preparations. She takes these opportunities to connect with young people, sharing her deep appreciation for the role the justice system plays in our democratic society. Her ongoing efforts to connect with students, both in the courthouse and in their classrooms, have put a human face on the justice system and contributed to greater understanding of its role in society.