Former Defence Lawyer Now Calgary's Chief Crown Prosecutor

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Former Defence Lawyer Now Calgary's Chief Crown Prosecutor

As reported in the Calgary Herald, Calgary has a new Chief Crown Prosecutor.

Former Chief Lloyd Robertson left the position when he was appointed as a judge to the provincial court bench; incoming Chief Sue Kendall might actually bring a broader perspective to the prosecutor's office. Not only has she practiced law in several provinces and cities, she has also previously worked as a defence lawyer—meaning she has an understanding of how the system works from the other side of the table.

Though Kendall has been working as a Crown prosecutor for more than fifteen years, prosecuting drug offences as well as more serious (some might say "actual") crime and working with Alberta Justice on organized crime prosecutions, she spent five years in London, Ont. as a criminal defence lawyer early in her career.

My hope is that this early experience she received, despite seeming somewhat removed given her work since then, will help her guide the Crown prosecutor's office in a way that focuses more on serious crime, and more on creating balance and justice for those in Calgary accused of crimes. Restoring such foundational principles as the presumption of innocence and recognizing the right of all Canadians to prepare and present a vigorous defence would be big steps in the right direction.

With that hope, and in the spirit of good faith that I firmly believe most officers of the court carry with them, I congratulate Ms. Kendall on her new position and look forward to working with her.