Judges of Sask. top court moving and leaving
The Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan is quietly going through some significant changes, with one judge moving back to trial court and another set to retire.
Earlier this month it was announced that Justice Darla Hunter, who joined the court in 2007, would retire effective March 1 this year.
Hunter had previously been a judge of the Court of Queen's Bench, beginning her judicial career there in 1990.
Justice Ysanne Wilkinson, who was also appointed to the appellate court in 2007, has already left that position. In June, Wilkinson returned to the Court of Queen's Bench, a trial court.
Wilkinson has 11 years of previous experience at Queen's Bench.
Her replacement, Justice Ralph Ottenbreit, was moved to the appeal court from the ranks of Queen's Bench. He had been on that court for two years.
While not without precedent, the moves are relatively rare for the court. According to the court's website, past judges on the court had served an average of 15 years.
Some, such as Fred Haultain, Percival Gordon, Roy Hall, Russell Brownridge and Ed Bayda, sat on the court for more than 25 years.
By statute, the normal number of judges for the Court of Appeal is seven, including a chief justice. There are currently six members of the court.
However, those numbers are bolstered by five semi-retired judges, including Hunter, who are called supernumerary judges.
While individual circumstances may differ, a supernumerary judge generally works about 50 per cent of the time that a regular judge does.
Judges of the Court of Appeal are appointed by the federal government.
According to the official notice of Hunter's retirement, she will receive an annual pension of $178,133.