Jacques Delisle, a retired magistrate who sat on the Quebec Court of Appeal, is accused of first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Nicole Rainville.
The 71-year-old woman was found dead in the couple's home in Quebec City's Sillery district in November 2009.
It was originally deemed a suicide, but a police investigation led detectives to a different conclusion. Delisle was arrested and charged in June 2010.
The case is believed to be the first time in Canadian legal history that a judge faces such a serious charge.
Delisle has pleaded not guilty. His trial is expected to last up to four weeks.