News and Announcements

Recognizing the Honourable Catherine A. Fraser - Former Chief Justice of Alberta

Oct 24, 2023

A commemorative plaque honouring former Chief Justice of Alberta, the Honourable Catherine A. Fraser, will be displayed at the Edmonton Law Courts building and the Alberta Court of Appeal premises in Calgary. The plaque was presented today by the Government of Alberta on behalf of all Albertans to recognize her more than three decades of dedicated service to the justice system of Alberta.

The Honourable Catherine Fraser, who retired in July 2022, was Chief Justice of the Courts of Appeal of Alberta and Northwest Territories from 1992, and Nunavut, from 1999. She was the first woman appointed Chief Justice of a Canadian province, a position she held for 30 years, and the youngest Chief Justice appointed in Alberta.

The Honourable Ritu Khullar, who was appointed Chief Justice of Alberta in November 2022, said:

“The Honourable Catherine Fraser’s legacy is multifaceted: as a trailblazer for women; substantively through her commitment to equality and fairness; jurisprudentially through the decisions she authored; and institutionally through her leadership in developing social context education for judges across Canada and in modernizing court administration. Today recognizes permanent symbols of this incredible legacy.”

The commemorative plaque dedicated to Honourable Fraser reads:

“Paving the way as the first woman appointed to the position of Chief Justice of a province in Canada and the youngest ever appointed in Alberta, the Honourable Catherine Fraser’s dedication and commitment to improving access to a fair and equal justice system changed justice in Alberta and throughout Canada for the better. Her involvement in judicial education made an enduring impact on justice systems around the world.”

Two scholarships funded by the Government of Alberta will also be awarded annually at the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary respectively—to law students who demonstrate the Honourable Catherine Fraser’s commitment to fairness and equality.

Paula Beauchamp
Communications, Alberta Court of Appeal