Saskatchewan chief justice Robert Richards announces resignation

He served as the province's top judge since 2013

Saskatchewan chief justice Robert Richards announces resignation

Saskatchewan Chief Justice Robert Richards has announced that he will be stepping down from his role as chief justice and as a judge of the Court of Appeal.

In a resignation letter addressed to the Minister of Justice, Richards expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to serve Saskatchewan. “It has been both an honour and a great privilege to serve the people of Saskatchewan as a member of the Court and as the chief justice of my province.”

Chief Justice Richards has been a member of the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan since 2004 and has served as the province’s chief justice since 2013. His colleagues expressed delight when he was appointed chief justice in 2013, describing him as “an excellent jurist” who is “hard-working, insightful, and well-liked.”

Richards received his legal education at the University of Saskatchewan and Harvard Law School. He worked as a law clerk to Justice Martland of the Supreme Court of Canada and as a parliamentary intern in the House of Commons. He also served as director of constitutional law in the Saskatchewan Department of Justice.

Before joining the judiciary, Richards was an associate lawyer with Gowling and Henderson in Ottawa from 1982 to 1984. He later became a partner at MacPherson Leslie and Tyerman in Regina, now known as MLT Aikins. He maintained a litigation practice, focusing on public law and appellate matters. He was counsel in over 40 Supreme Court of Canada appeals and has held numerous leadership positions in the legal community, including chair of the Supreme Court of Canada’s Canadian Bar Association Liaison Committee and co-chair of the National Canadian Bar Association Constitutional and Human Rights Law section.

Richards is a long-time lecturer at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Law and is a frequent presenter at lawyers' educational programs. In addition to his role as chief justice, he serves as chairperson of the Provincial Judicial Council and the first vice-chair of the Canadian Judicial Council.

Chief Justice Richards' retirement will mark the end of a legal career that has spanned decades. His resignation is effective August 31.

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