NEWS
03/21/2018 16:53 EDT | Updated 03/22/2018 11:31 EDT

Beverley McLachlin Appointed To Hong Kong's Highest Court

She retired three months ago.

Beverley McLachlin reacts during a news conference in Ottawa on Dec. 15, 2017.
Chris Wattie / Reuters
Beverley McLachlin reacts during a news conference in Ottawa on Dec. 15, 2017.

OTTAWA — Retirement apparently isn't Beverley McLachlin's cup of tea.

The Hong Kong judiciary announced Wednesday that Canada's former chief justice of the Supreme Court will be joining its top court.

McLachlin has been named a non-permanent judge in the Court of Final Appeal. And her appointment will be a historic one: she and U.K. Supreme Court Judge Baroness Brenda Hale will be the first non-permanent judges in the special administrative region, according to the South China Morning Post.

AFP/Getty Images
This picture taken on Jan. 6, 2018 shows a pedestrian walking past the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal building in Hong Kong.

In Hong Kong, a chief justice sits at the top of the Court of Final Appeal. Below the chief justice are three permanent judges and panels of non-permanent judges from Hong Kong and abroad.

There is a maximum of 30 non-permanent judges.

It's another career milestone for McLachlin, who was appointed by prime minister Jean Chrétien in 2000 as chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada — becoming the first woman to hold the role.

McLachlin carved a legacy being an activist judge. The court under her tenue, famously clashed with prime minister Stephen Harper.

Watch: Canada's retiring top judge calls for faster access to justice

On her last day, she looked back at her 17 years as chief justice to share the file she considers to be a hallmark of her time on the Supreme Court.

"If I had to pick out something, I would say I'm proud of the work the court has done on the Indigenous files and in the development of a legal structure into which Indigenous rights can function and I've also been very honoured and felt very privileged to play a small role in the development of Charter rights and freedoms," she told media in December.

McLachlin decided to retire after a 36-year judicial career.

Releasing legal thriller

Seemingly doubling down on her reputation as a career overachiever, McLachlin is also set to add "author" to her bio this year.

Her fictional legal thriller "Full Disclosure" about a young defence attorney is set for summer release by Simon & Schuster.

Teased as a story "from the gritty streets of Vancouver to the fateful halls of justice," McLauchlin said inspiration for the book comes from her experience with the criminal justice system.

The book is set for a May 2018 release.

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McLachlin was born in Pincher Creek, Alta. and attended the University of Alberta. She went on to teach law at the University of British Columbia and later became a chief justice of that province's Supreme Court.