First Woman on Canadian Supreme Court Dies

Bertha Wilson, who in 1982 became the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada, died Saturday after a long illness. She was 83.

A progressive voice and a staunch proponent of human rights, Wilson wrote important opinions on abortion and battered spouse syndrome and was one of the most controversial judges ever to sit on the Canadian Supreme Court bench, reports CanWest News Service.

A Web site on the Canadian Supreme Court,, says Wilson’s unique perspective served the country well. “She had great empathy for the law’s underdogs,” the site says, “often leading on important questions relating to minority rights or the rights of individuals too easily vilified by the rest of society.”

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