The Honourable Justice Nancy S. Kastner of the Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton, received the Ontario Justice Education Network’s (OJEN) Chief Justices’ Award at a virtual ceremony on Wednesday, November 17th, 2021.
Presided over by Chief Justice Lise Maisonneuve of the Ontario Court of Justice, Chief Justice Geoffrey Morawetz of the Superior Court of Justice and Chief Justice George Strathy of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, Justice Kastner was honoured for her leadership in advancing justice education in Peel Region.
As a driving force behind the establishment of the Peel Justice Education Committee, she was instrumental in launching several of the first justice education programs still offered to students in the region. She took a leading role in developing the Peel Mock Trial Tournament, which she continues to be actively involved in each year.
In addition to the Mock Trial Tournament, Justice Kastner played a key role in establishing:
- The Courthouse Visit program, with judges assigned to speak to the visiting students
- The Classroom Visit program, with volunteer lawyers from the local bar speaking to classes
- The annual Mock Bail Tournament, involving Justices of the Peace and local police officers,
- The Adopt-a-School program, where law firms make lawyers available to schools as a resource,
- The Criminal Code Donation program, where judges donate old Criminal Codes Law classrooms
As a result of her dedicated efforts, thousands of young people have enjoyed enriching educational experiences through court visits, participating in mock trials or one of the many other programs that Justice Kastner helped to establish in the Peel region.