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Judge Manjusha Pawagi is raising the bar


She’s the only female South Asian judge in Toronto family courts and possibly the youngest. Justice Manjusha Pawagi has worked as a counsel for the Children’s Aid Society (CAS); designed and delivered training for social workers, foster parents and CAS counsel. Neither gender nor ethnicity ever came in the way of her success, she says.

“Each time, in every merit-based process, I made it,” she says. “But I understand that things are not always easy for newcomer immigrants. My mother did her PhD in Biochemistry at University of Toronto, but she didn’t get tenure. I can’t say this definitively, but she was older, a woman, a South Asian with an accent...the first generation always makes the sacrifices. At my swearing-in, my mother said, ‘Everything was worth it.’”


Someone wrote to Justice Pawagi, telling her that her appointment had renewed his faith in the judicial system.


“He was commenting on the fact that this was not a political appointment, that it was possible for anyone with the right qualifications to reach here. And that made me feel wonderful.”

Posted: May 30, 2012

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