Marjorie Bowker

First Woman Graduate of University of Alberta Faculty of Law to be appointed a judge at any level

Born Prince Edward Island 1906, died Alberta, 2006

  • 1939 Graduated University of Alberta, Faculty of Law
  • 1966 appointed Alberta’s Family Court judge, the first woman to be appointed to this position
  • First female graduate of the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Law to be appointed a judge at any level
  • She was the initiator of the Family Court’s Conciliation Services, a counseling initiative that has since been copied in other jurisdictions in Canada and Australia
  • A staunch defender of the rights of women prisoners she was paramount in the establishment of the Edmonton Institution for Women which was set up after the decision to close the Prison for Women in Kingston, Ontario
  • 1988, now retired, she became involved in the debate regarding the Free Trade Act. She wrote the book On Guard for Thee that criticized the agreement The book became a best seller.
  • 1990 wrote the book entitled:
    Meech Lake Accord What it Will Mean to You and Canada
    It became a best seller as well.


  • 1990 Inducted into the Order of Canada
  • 1995 honoured as one of seven pioneer women judges of Canada by the Canadian Judicial Council
  • Holds honorary degrees from 3 universities including UofA (LLD)

More information: