23 October 2009
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today the following appointments:
The Honourable Neil C. Wittmann
, Associate Chief Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, is appointed Chief Justice to replace the Honourable Chief Justice A. H. Wachowich, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective October 1, 2009.
Mr. Justice Wittmann was first appointed to the Alberta Court of Appeal in 1999 and then to the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta as Associate Chief Justice in 2005, a position he has held until today. He completed a bachelor of commerce at the University of Manitoba in 1964 and a bachelor of laws at the University of Alberta in 1967. He was called to the Bar of Alberta in 1968 and Northwest Territories in 1976. He was a partner with Brownlee Fryett from 1969 to 1972 and a partner with Code Hunter Wittmann from 1972 to 1999. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1985.
Chief Justice Wittmann was a Bencher with the Alberta Law Society from 1990 to 1997. He continues to be a member of the Canadian Bar Association, Canadian Bar Insurance Association and Fellow of the Canadian College of Construction Lawyers and American College of Trial Lawyers. He is a member of council of both the Canadian Superior Courts Judges’ Association and the Canadian Judicial Council.
The Honourable John D. Rooke
, a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, is appointed Associate Chief Justice to replace the Honourable Mr. Justice Neil C. Wittmann, who was appointed Chief Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta.
Associate Chief Justice Rooke was first appointed to the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in 1991. He completed a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of laws at the University of Saskatchewan in 1970. After his call to the Bar of Alberta, he articled with and became partner of Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer in Calgary from 1970 to 1991. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1987.
Associate Chief Justice Rooke is an Accredited Arbitrator with the Alberta Arbitration and Mediation Society and Chartered Arbitrator at the Arbitration and Mediation Institute of Canada. He recently completed a masters in dispute resolution at the University of Alberta. Since his appointment to the bench in 1991, he has been actively involved in all aspects of the judiciary including the Queen’s Bench Continuing Legal Education Committee, Computer Committee, Rules Committee, Civil Practise and Procedure Committee, Long Range Planning Committee and many more, such as the Ad Hoc Committee which authored the report entitled "Vision 2000 Plus: the Court of Queen’s Bench Commencing the 21st Century."
These appointments are effective immediately.