Ed Wachowich

One of the Wachowich brothers (Ed and Allan Wachowich) who were the first Canadian siblings to simultaneously serve as heads of respective courts.

‘The only such situation in North America where two brothers are so high up in the court system’ – Ed Wachowich (Canadian Bar Assoc. Alberta Branch & Law Society of Alberta Newsletter, March 1999)

Born Opal, AB 1929 – Died Edmonton, 2012


  • 1954 – Graduated Faculty of Law, University of Alberta
  • 1955 – Formed partnership with Constantine Kosowan, firm developed into roster of influential attorneys including his younger brother Allan Wachowich and Julian Koziak
  • 1968 – Appointed provincial court criminal judge
  • Late 1960s – early 1970s – Ed played an important role with the Edmonton Eskimos as a lawyer
  • 1971 – Became Chief Judge
  • 1999 Retired as Chief Judge of Edmonton’s Provincial Court
  • Continued to work as deputy judge in Northwest Territories


  • Ensured speedy access to trials usually within six months
  • Began the use of commissioners (sitting JPs) to deal with the high volume traffic court
  • Pushed to have both sitting JPs and hearing officers (presiding JPs) be lawyers with at least five years experience
  • Channelled money garnered in the ‘Victim Fine Surcharge’ program from the province’s coffers to victims’ groups
  • Chaired the group charged with changing Alberta’s electoral boundaries