03/22/2016 15:34 EDT | Updated 03/23/2017 01:12 EDT

Supreme Court Justice Thomas Cromwell to retire in September

OTTAWA — Supreme Court Justice Thomas Cromwell is retiring Sept. 1, setting the stage for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's first appointment to the high court.

Cromwell, 63, was named to the Supreme Court in 2008, after serving 11 years on the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin is lauding Cromwell's contributions, saying colleagues have always benefited from his wisdom, rigour and friendship.

She says that outside the court, Cromwell's tireless efforts to increase access to justice will continue to benefit Canadians long after his retirement from the bench.

Cromwell says that as his time as a judge draws to a close, he believes more firmly than ever that an independent and effective judiciary is a cornerstone of democracy.

Under the rules, a departing Supreme Court judge may, for up to six months after retiring, take part in rulings on cases that they have heard.

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The Canadian Press