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First woman appointed provincial chief justice retiring after thirty years on bench

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After 30 years as Chief Justice of Alberta, the Honourable Catherine Anne Fraser, shown in a handout photo, who is also Chief Justice of both the Northwest Territories and Nunavut Courts of Appeal, is retiring effective July 30, 2022. Her appointment as Alberta’s Chief Justice on March 12, 1992 marked the first time a woman had been appointed chief justice of a province in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Court of Appeal of Alberta **MANDATORY CREDIT**

EDMONTON — After three decades on the bench, Alberta's chief justice is hanging up her robe.

The retirement of Catherine Fraser, who also serves as chief justice of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut Courts of Appeal, takes effect Saturday.

Fraser's appointment as Alberta's chief justice marked the first time a woman had taken on that role in a Canadian province.

She was initially appointed to the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench in 1989 and became chief justice three years later.

Fraser has been involved in a number of efforts provincially, nationally and internationally to promote key democratic principles including the rule of law, fair and equal justice and the protection of human rights and freedoms. 

She has participated in judicial education projects in Australia, New Zealand, England, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Croatia, Taiwan, Zimbabwe and the Palestinian Territories. 

"I have been humbled, and grateful, to have had this unparalleled opportunity to serve the citizens of Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut," said Fraser.

"I have been fortunate to have worked with talented colleagues on the Alberta and Northern Courts of Appeal and the Canadian Judicial Council dedicated to achieving the highest level of justice for those we serve."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 29, 2022. 

The Canadian Press