The Government of Saskatchewan has appointed Judge James Plemel as Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan.
The appointment takes effect January 1, 2015, following the conclusion of Chief Judge Carol Snell's term.
"Since her appointment as Chief Judge in 2008, Chief Judge Snell has played a key leadership role," Justice Minister and Attorney General Gordon Wyant said. "I express my sincere appreciation for her outstanding contributions to the province of Saskatchewan.
"Judge Plemel is an exceptional successor. He has significant experience and a dedication to ensuring Saskatchewan residents have access to justice services. He has already been instrumental as a Provincial Court Judge in Wynyard and I welcome him to his new role."
"It has been an honour and a pleasure to have served as Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan," Chief Judge Snell said. "Judge Plemel has been a respected colleague on the bench and I am confident that the province and its people will be well-served by his leadership."
"I am deeply honoured by this appointment and look forward to beginning my term," Judge Plemel said. "Under Chief Judge Snell's capable leadership, the Court has continued to focus on providing efficient and effective access to justice to individuals and communities. The Court has expanded the use of restorative justice approaches in all courts in appropriate circumstances and continues to explore options to deal with individuals with cognitive disabilities and other mental challenges. Innovations like video-conferencing have also improved access to the Court, particularly in the North and collaborative efforts have helped to ensure consistency in practice throughout the province. I look forward to working with Chief Judge Snell over the next several months to learn more about my role and prepare to assume the responsibilities and challenges."
Judge Plemel was admitted to the Saskatchewan Law Society in 1975. He worked in private practice in Saskatoon, spent a couple of years with the La Ronge office of the Saskatchewan Legal Aid Commission, then ten years as a Crown Prosecutor in Prince Albert before joining Public Prosecutions in Saskatoon in 1999. He worked as a Regional Crown Prosecutor for several years before being appointed a Provincial Court Judge in Wynyard in 2009. He is also fluently bilingual, having prosecuted and presided over several cases in French.