Justice Malcolm Rowe is welcomed to the Supreme Court of Canada

Malcolm Rowe, the newest justice on the Supreme Court of Canada, was formally welcomed to the court Friday.

First Newfoundlander on the country's top court officially sworn in Friday

Justice Malcolm Rowe smiles during a welcoming ceremony in his honour at the Supreme Court, in Ottawa, Friday. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

The Supreme Court of Canada formally welcomed Justice Malcolm Rowe to the bench Friday.

The appointment is historic because Rowe is the first justice from Newfoundland and Labrador to take a seat on the country's top court.

The former justice of the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal was the first to be appointed under a new process where jurists apply for a job on the bench and are vetted by an independent advisory board.

Rowe, who replaces Justice Thomas Cromwell, a Nova Scotian who retired in September, had to fill out an application explaining why he wanted the job and a portion of that application was posted online.

"The Supreme Court maintains and develops the structure of law in Canada. Stability and predictability are important to maintain that structure. But, adaptation to changes in society, including changes in shared goals, is critical to the law's development," Rowe wrote in the questionnaire portion of his application.  

"It is important to operate from first principles, while also considering practical results. It is no less important to eschew ideological positions. Should the court lead or mirror a shared sense of justice? The answer is, of course, both. Generally, it should lead when the time is ripe to do so, having regard to the needs and aspirations of Canadians."

Justice Malcolm Rowe, right, stands before his colleagues of the Supreme Court as he is welcomed during a ceremony at the Supreme Court, in Ottawa, Friday. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)
Justice Rowe, right, takes his place at the bench of the Supreme Court as he is welcomed by Justices Suzanne Cote, centre, and Richard Wagner Friday. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)
Justice Rowe, right, is welcomed by Justices Cote, centre, and Wagner, as he takes his seat on the Supreme Court bench for the first time. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)
Justice Rowe, right, addresses the court as his colleagues look on during the welcoming ceremony. (Chris Wattie/Canadian Press)
The Supreme Court Justices pose for a group photo during the official welcoming ceremony for Justice Malcolm Rowe, in Ottawa, Friday. Top row, left to right, Justice Russell Brown, Justice Clement Gascon, Justice Suzanne Cote, and Justice Malcolm Rowe. Bottom row, left to right, Justice Andromache Karakatsanis, Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, Justice Michael Moldaver, Justice Richard Wagner. (Fred Chartrand/The Canadian Press)

With files from Canadian Press