Interview with the Hon. Madam Justice Diana Cameron, President of the International Association of Women Judges’ Canadian Chapter

  • November 21, 2022
  • Melanie R. Bueckert

What is the IAWJCC?

The formal name of our Chapter is the International Association of Women Judges Canadian Chapter (IAWJCC). However, we are often interchangeably referred to as the Canadian Chapter of the International Association of Women Judges (the CCIAWJ).

The International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization representing members of all levels of the judiciary worldwide who share a commitment to equal justice for women and the rule of law with over 6,000 members in 100 countries.

The IAWJCC seeks to uphold and enhance these values through a number of projects and initiatives. Recently, we have provided funding for the purchase of books and participated in a multiday discussion of human rights through “A Room of Your Own,” a book club for high risk teen girls, trans and non-binary students across Canada/North America. We have assisted women law students through networking events and the provision of scholarships. Recently, we have done significant work to help Afghan women judges.

Regarding women lawyers, we are currently in the midst of what is referred to as the Roundtable Project.

Can you briefly tell us about the Roundtable Project and the impetus for it?

The Roundtable Project is an initiative aimed at supporting the advancement and retention of women in the legal profession. The IAWJCC is concerned about the loss of women in the profession, especially over time. While we realize that there have been a number of reports compiled and other projects with the same goals, we are hoping to assist in finding solutions to the many issues involved both provincially and nationally. The strategy is for a number of provinces to hold roundtables with members of the profession aimed at not only stating the problems, but also finding solutions. Partnerships with the local Law Societies and Branches of the Canadian Bar Association have been formed in many provinces to facilitate the Roundtables. To date, the provinces of Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Alberta, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island have held virtual roundtables. Reports have been or are in the process of being prepared as a result of these meetings. Quebec will be having a roundtable in the fall. Efforts are being made to host roundtables in the remaining provinces and territories.

Where is the Roundtable Project headed in the future?

The next step for the project is to determine what the situation is on a national basis. In that regard, we have just had our first national meeting. The representatives on the National Committee are comprised of some of the members of the IAWJCC and women members of the profession who have been and continue to be involved at the provincial level. We are considering the reports from the provincial roundtables and discussing how to move forward.

Is there a role for the WLF in this Project?

There is most definitely a role for the members of the WLF. First, many members of the WLF have already participated in the roundtable events, including the planning committees for such events. Some have participated in the preparation of the resulting reports. In some provinces, it has been determined that a roundtable event will be held annually. I would encourage participation in any of the provincial or territorial events (including any planning committees for such events) to be held in the future. Some members of the WLF are also on the National Committee.

On behalf of the provincial or national committees, I would welcome any written submissions or suggestions from an individual member or group of members of the WLF. Submissions may be sent to my assistant via email (

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the WLF for its interest in the IAWJCC and the Roundtable Project.

Melanie R. Bueckert is chair of the Manitoba Bar Association’s Women Lawyers’ Forum.