Red Deer lawyer Michael Scrase was among eight new judges announced on Thursday by the Alberta government.
Scrase will take the bench for Red Deer and the central region when he begins work on Monday. He graduated from University of Alberta’s law school in 1993 and has been working as a defence lawyer since 1995. He is vice-president of the Red Deer Criminal Trial Lawyers Association.
Joining Scrase in the Red Deer and central region will be Camrose lawyer Gordon Hatch. After graduating in 2003 from the University of Alberta, Hatch worked as an agent with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada and with the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service in Wetaskiwin, Vegreville, Fort Saskatchewan and Peace River. He has been in private practice since 2014.
“I congratulate all these worthy appointees and wish them success in their new roles as judges of the Provincial Court of Alberta,” said Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Kaycee Madu in a statement. “This group of appointees represents the diversity present in Alberta and will help increase access to justice for Albertans.
“These appointments make progress on my commitment to have our justice system reflect Alberta today. Our province will be better served by the elevation of these appointees to the bench, and I thank them for agreeing to serve Alberta.”
Others appointed include: Grace Auger for Lethbridge and southern region, Sandra Mah and Karen Molle for the Calgary Criminal Division and Gregory Shannon for the Calgary Civil Division.
Jason Neustaeter has been appointed to Wetaskiwin and central region and Olugbenga Shoyele, has been appointed to Edmonton Criminal Division.
Lawyers with at least 10 years at the bar can apply to become a provincial court judge. Applications are considered first by the Judicial Council, which recommends applicants to the Provincial Court Nominating Committee. The committee then selects candidates, interviews and makes recommendations to the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General.