The Honourable Mary Moreau, first female Chief Justice of Alberta’s
Court of Queen’s Bench, will be conferred with an honorary doctor of laws
degree by the University of Alberta on June 12.
"It is a testament to Chief Justice Moreau's vision,
commitment and hard work that in just her first year leading the Court of
Queen’s Bench of Alberta, the Court has made tremendous headway with some its
most vexing issues, including case backlogs, trial delays and lack of courtroom
space," said the Faculty of Law's Dean Paul Paton.
“My vision for the Court is that it be recognized as a
modern institution that is independent and effective in its role in
administering justice and connected to the communities it serves,” said Moreau.
“To accomplish this, our Court's strategic planning is
focussed on modernizing and improving our external communications, moving our
court processes into the electronic age, advancing diversity and inclusion, and
promoting early and effective conflict resolution,” she said.
Since taking on the Chief Justice role in October 2017, Moreau
has encouraged alternate conflict resolution, especially in family law cases, improved
the courtroom booking system, and supported the expansion of court facilities.
The Court also has a new Twitter account and is
considering a policy to allow media cameras during some trials.
"She has opened the channels of communication to the
public about the Court’s work in interesting and creative ways, and continues
to model and inspire our graduates as one of the leading alumnae populating the
highest judicial offices,” said Paton.
“We are thrilled to thank her for her service to her
profession, to the Franco-Albertan community and indeed to the people of this
province, and celebrate the University’s award of an honorary doctor of laws
degree for these achievements,” he said.
Moreau practiced criminal, constitutional and civil law in
Edmonton and litigated landmark Charter cases involving minority language
rights. She co-founded the Association des juristes d’expression française de
l’Alberta and has presided over French-language and bilingual trials.
Moreau has taken leadership roles throughout her career with
a focus on ethics, professional development and education. She headed the
Canadian Superior Courts Judges Association in 2011-12, co-chaired in the
spring the National Judicial Institute’s Criminal Law Conference for six years,
and travelled to Ukraine to support legal reform.
Moreau said she continues to rely on skills learned during
her law studies.
“I think the most valuable lesson from my law school years
that has helped me throughout my legal career did not come from one subject
area in particular,” she said. “It was learning how to think critically – how
to go about carefully analyzing a legal problem from all perspectives and avoid
rushing to judgment.”