The Honourable Mr. Justice Neil Sharkey, Chief Justice
Mr. Justice Sharkey received his early schooling in Toronto, followed by a Bachelor of Arts (1971) from Middlebury College (Vermont), and a Bachelor of Laws (1975) from the University of Saskatchewan College of Law.
Admitted to the Saskatchewan Bar in 1976, he practiced there until 1983 as a provincial Crown Attorney, a staff lawyer with Saskatchewan Legal Aid, and in private practice with Rees Newhsham & Co.
Coming north to Yellowknife in 1983, he served as a federal Crown Attorney, then moved to Frobisher Bay in 1986 to become Executive Director of Maliganik Tukiisiniakvik. He served on the NWT Legal Services Board, and co-authored the 1991 NWT Task Force on Legal Aid; he has served as a member of the NWT Judicial Council, and has been a regular instructor in NWT and Nunavut legal interpreter and courtworker programs.
He was Appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1991. And, at the kind insistence of his colleagues, he was the first lawyer called to the Nunavut Bar in April 1999.
Beginning in 1999 he was Director of Administration & Education for Nunavut`s Justices of the Peace, taking a leave of absence in 2001 & 2002 to work in the Cayman Islands on a major criminal trial with John Furniss & Co (Attorneys). In 2005 he returned to private practice with Iqaluit Law Chambers, focusing on criminal appeals, and until his appointment to the Court in December 2008 was Chair of the Discipline Committee for the Law Society of Nunavut. On October 1st, 2016, Justice Sharkey became the Senior Judge of the Nunavut Court of Justice.
The Honourable Madam Justice Susan Cooper
Madam Justice Cooper received a Bachelor of Science in 1983 and a Bachelor of Laws in 1987 from the University of Alberta. She was called to the Northwest Territories Bar in 1988, the Alberta Bar in 1990, and the Nunavut Bar in 1999. Madam Justice Cooper was an associate at the law firm of Cooper Johnson in Yellowknife, NWT from 1988 to 1992 and practised as a sole practitioner in Yellowknife from 1992 to 1993. She practiced in Iqaluit from 1993 to 1998. She was a partner at Chandler & Cooper from 1998 to the date of her appointment. From 1999 to the appointment, she was the first Law Clerk to the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut. Her main practice areas include criminal, family, civil, child protection, municipal, administrative, employment and parliamentary law.
Madam Justice Cooper is a member of the Law Society of Nunavut, the Law Society of Northwest Territories, the Canadian Council of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Federation of Law Societies and the Canadian Council of Administrative Tribunals. She was Vice-Chair of the Nunavut Human Rights Tribunal and the Northwest Territories and Nunavut Safety and Compensation Commission, Appeals Tribunal. She is a director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. She was appointed a Judge of the Nunavut Court of Justice in December 2009.
The Honorable Madam Justice Bonnie Tulloch
Madam Justice Tulloch received a Bachelor of Laws from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1995. She was admitted to the Bar of Ontario in 1996, the Northwest Territories Bar in 1998 and the Nunavut Bar in 1999. Madam Justice Tulloch was the Executive Director for the Keewatin Legal Services Centre Society in Rankin Inlet from 1998 to 2000 and Executive Director of the newly created Nunavut Legal Services Board located in Gjoa Haven from 2000 to 2003. She then moved to Iqaluit where she was a sole practitioner before joining the Department of Justice, Canada as a Crown Prosecutor in the Nunavut Regional Office in late 2004. She became Regional Director and Chief Federal Prosecutor in 2005; a position that she continued to hold within the then newly created Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) until 2008.
In 2007, she was named Special Advisor on Northern Issues for the PPSC. She was responsible for policy decisions in all three territories; recruitment and retention of lawyers and sat on a number of committees in Ottawa.
She was a member of the Akitsiraq Law School Society Board of Directors for a number of years and was an executive member of the Violence Against Women Working Group chaired by the Deputy Minister of Justice for Nunavut from 2005 to 2007. She was Vice-Chairperson of the Nunavut Federal Council in 2006 and 2007 and President of the Nunavut chapter of the Canadian Bar Association for two years. Madam Justice Tulloch was an active member of the Law Society Membership Committees in both Nunavut and the Northwest Territories for a number of years. She held the positions of President and Vice-President of the Law Society in 1998 and 1999.
Madam Justice Tulloch is honoured to have been appointed a Judge in the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit, effective March 1, 2012.
The Honourable Mr. Justice Paul Bychok
Mr. Justice Bychok graduated with honours from Rosemount High School and attended Dawson College in Montreal before obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University. While at McGill, he enrolled in the Reserve Officer University Training Plan and earned Her Majesty’s Commission in The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada. He then attended the School of Graduate Studies at Queen’s University in Kingston where he studied North American history under Dr. Roger Graham and Dr. Geoffrey Smith. His graduate thesis posited that the Hon. Ernest Lapointe was not simply a “Quebec Lieutenant”; he was in many respects Mackenzie King’s de facto co-Prime Minister. Justice Bychok then embarked upon the first of his many travels by getting a driver’s license then driving across and around North America before backpacking in Europe. He graduated from Dalhousie University Law School in Halifax in 1984 and was admitted as a member of the Barristers’ Society of Nova Scotia in 1985. Justice Bychok was actively involved with the Boy Scout movement as a Leader with the 33rd Montreal and 1st Clayton Park (Halifax) scout troops.
Mr. Justice Bychok started his legal career in Halifax where he focused on corporate- commercial, real property, civil litigation and criminal defence files. He joined the Dartmouth office of the Public Prosecution Service of Nova Scotia in December, 1989. From 1993 to 1997, he handled all French language prosecutions across the province. Later, as a member of the Special Prosecutions Unit, he was the lead advisor to a massive RCMP investigation which pioneered the use of electronic disclosure.
In October 2003, he moved with his young family to Iqaluit to join the Nunavut Regional Office of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. Over the course of his 12 year career with the PPSC, he worked in every one of Nunavut’s 25 hamlets and handled several high profile homicide prosecutions. He was also the senior regulatory prosecutor. He worked very hard to develop an understanding of Inuit culture and traditions as well as a sensitivity to Inuit traditional legal norms.
Mr. Justice Bychok is a past Treasurer of the Law Society of Nunavut. He was also a guest lecturer on legal matters for the Nunavut Justices of the Peace program, Akitsiraq Law School and Inuksuk High School in Iqaluit. He retired from the practice of law in April 2015.
Justice Bychok was appointed a Judge of the Nunavut Court of Justice in July 2015.
The Honorable Madam Justice Susan Charlesworth
Madam Justice Charlesworth received both her B.Sc. in mathematics and her LL.B. from Queen’s University. She articled with O’Hara, Cromwell and Wilkin in Kingston before joining the criminal practice of the Honourable T.G. O’Hara, who was later appointed to the judiciary. In addition to practising criminal law, Justice Charlesworth also represented children in Children’s Aid Society matters and supported mental health clients and inmates at administrative hearings. In 1996, Justice Charlesworth joined Queen’s University Legal Aid, supervising law students providing much-needed legal services to people in the Kingston area. Under her guidance, hundreds of law graduates have learned valuable ethical and professional lessons in a practical setting.
Between 2013 and 2015, Justice Charlesworth and her husband, David, lived in Iqaluit, where she was criminal defence counsel at Maliganik Tukisiniarvik Legal Services. During this time, they came to appreciate the beauty of the land and the character of the people of Nunavut.
In her free time, Justice Charlesworth is active in her community. She is the president of the recreational hockey league in which she has played for 20 years. She has also served in various roles on the board of the Independent Living Centre in Kingston for 10 years, including as treasurer. As the current chair of St. Andrew’s-by-the-Lake United Church Council, she has adapted a United Church hymn for her new circumstances: “What does the World require of you? What does the World require of you? To seek justice, and love kindness, and walk humbly on the Land.”
Justice Charlesworth and her husband are the proud parents of three children.
Madam Justice Charlesworth was appointed a judge of the Nunavut Court of Justice in June 2018.
The Honourable Mr. Justice Christion Lyons
Justice Lyons was born and raised in Ontario. He holds an LL.B. from Queen’s University and a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Toronto. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 2003, the Nunavut Bar in 2006, and the Northwest Territories Bar in 2014.
Justice Lyons began his career as criminal duty counsel at the Scarborough Courthouse. In 2006, he accepted a position with the Maliganik Tukisiniarvik legal aid clinic and moved to Iqaluit, Nunavut. There he represented Nunavummiut – residents of Nunavut – and appeared before the Nunavut Court of Justice in communities across the territory. He was appointed senior counsel with Maliganik Tukisiniarvik in 2010, and worked in that capacity until 2014. He then joined the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) in the Nunavut Regional Office.
At the PPSC, Justice Lyons first worked as a front-line prosecutor, travelling extensively on court circuits throughout Nunavut. He later assumed leadership and management roles, including that of senior counsel and general counsel, Legal Operations. He was active on PPSC national committees dealing with current legal topics. He also met regularly with the Legal Services Board of Nunavut, the Nunavut Court of Justice, and other Nunavut stakeholders to discuss administration of justice issues and potential improvements.
During his 12 years working and living in Nunavut, both as defence counsel and as a prosecutor, Justice Lyons has learned much about Inuit culture and traditional values. In his life outside the legal profession, Justice Lyons enjoys community life in Iqaluit, being on the land, camping, hiking, kite-skiing, and kite-surfing.
Justice Lyons was appointed a judge of the Nunavut Court of Justice in June 2018.