Jamaican-born lawyer new Ontario Court judge


Jamaican-born lawyer, Aston Hall, is one of five new judges appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice. The 52-year-old Toronto criminal lawyer has been assigned to Toronto by Chief Justice Annemarie E. Bonkalo, effective December 8.


“I am humbled and, at the same time, deeply honoured at my appointment,” Hall said in an interview.

Audrey Campbell, president of the Jamaican Canadian Association (JCA), congratulated Hall who, she said, has been a valued member of the JCA and the chair of one of its standing committees.

“We are always extremely proud when one of our own has ascended to such a position of honour. He is a shining example of what can be accomplished through hard work and a commitment to excellence,” she said.

Toronto journalist, Philip Mascoll, whose friendship with Hall dates back close to 40 years in Jamaica, was delighted at the appointment.

“Aston has excelled in everything he has done and this is yet another level of excellence. He deserves this and it would be hard to think of a better addition to Canada’s judiciary.

“This son of Jamaica will continue to make us proud.”

Another close friend, author Rachel Manley, described the appointment as “… well-deserved recognition of his years of service in the defense of justice in Ontario. This news fills me personally and, I am sure, other Caribbean Canadians, with special pride.

“Aston Hall’s unique and compelling life story … a voyage from a challenging youth in Jamaica, where he was cared for by his grandmother, an iconically wise island matriarch… brings with it a wealth of perspective, compassion and of experience that will no doubt enrich the Canadian judiciary …. and deepen our vibrant Caribbean weave as it strengthens the Canadian tapestry.”

Manley is the eldest child of the late Prime Minister of Jamaica, Michael Manley, for whose People’s National Party Hall worked as a national political organizer. He coordinated the development and implementation of national political strategies for elections and organized programs and initiatives for the leadership of the party, including Manley, who was both the prime minister and party president.

Jamaica’s consul general in Toronto, George Ramocan, congratulated Hall on behalf of the government and people of Jamaica.

“This is a well deserved appointment and another example of the high achievement members of our community attain. Aston’s appointment augers well for our community.”

Hall, who specialized in criminal law through his law firm, Aston J. Hall and Associates has, since 2009, been a director of the Criminal Lawyers Association’s Toronto chapter. Between 1992 and 1993, he was president of the Black Law Students’ Association, at Osgoode Hall Law School, and president of the Black Law Students Association of Canada from 1993 to 1994.

Hall, who came to Canada in 1983, earned his Bachelors (Honours) degree in political science and labour studies from York University in 1990, then pursued his law degree at Osgood Hall Law School and graduated in 1993. In 2008 he earned a Master of Laws degree focused on criminal law and procedure, also from Osgoode Hall Law School.

He was called to the Bar in Toronto in 1995.


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