New to the bench African-Nova Sco­tian from Wind­sor be­comes pro­vin­cial judge

Valley Journal Advertiser - - NEWS - BY COLIN CHISHOLM HANTSJOURNAL. CA WIND­SOR

Ronda van der Hoek, from Wind­sor, has been ap­pointed as a pro­vin­cial judge, adding to the diver­sity of the prov­ince’s ju­di­cial sys­tem.

Van der Hoek, a pros­e­cu­tor and team leader with the

Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tion Ser­vice of Canada, was ap­pointed to the bench on Jan. 23 by Gov­er­nor in Coun­cil on the rec­om­men­da­tion of act­ing At­tor­ney Gen­eral and Min­is­ter of Jus­tice Michel Sam­son.

Join­ing van der Hoek is Cather­ine Ben­ton, a lawyer with Nova Sco­tia Le­gal Aid, the first Mi’kmaq woman to serve as a judge in Nova Sco­tia.

“Ms. van der Hoek and Ms. Ben­ton are both ex­pe­ri­enced lawyers with deep roots in their com­mu­ni­ties,” Sam­son said in a press re­lease. “Their pro­fes­sional in­tegrity and out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions to the prac­tice of law and the prov­ince make them fine ad­di­tions to the pro­vin­cial and fam­ily court.”

Van der Hoek has been prac­tic­ing law for 19 years. Be­fore join­ing the Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tion Ser­vice of Canada, she was a coun­sel with Nova Sco­tia Le­gal Aid in Wind­sor and Halifax.

She’s a Dal­housie Law School grad­u­ate and is also the fed­eral co- chair of the Jus­tice Com­mit­tee of the Mi’kmaq-Nova Sco­tia-Canada Tri­par­tite Fo­rum.

“These ap­point­ments will fur­ther strengthen our jus­tice sys­tem,” Pre­mier Stephen McNeil said in a press re­lease. “It is im­por­tant that Nova Sco­tians see them­selves re­flected in our in­sti­tu­tions, and that our judges re­flect the diver­sity of our prov­ince. Our jus­tice sys­tem is made stronger by the dif­fer­ent life ex­pe­ri­ences of the peo­ple who work in it.”

The pro­vin­cial court pre­sides over most in­dictable of­fence charges un­der the Crim­i­nal Code and has ex­clu­sive ju­ris­dic­tion over all sum­mary of­fence charges un­der pro­vin­cial and fed­eral statutes and reg­u­la­tions ex­cept a charge of mur­der by an adult.

The fam­ily court pro­vides a fo­rum to hear fam­ily is­sues, in­clud­ing main­te­nance, cus­tody and ac­cess and child pro­tec­tion mat­ters.

Ronda van der Hoek

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