James A. Hunter named chief justice of the Alberta Court of Justice

The Alberta legislature building in Edmonton. Photo: Carla Tavares/Pexels

Justice James A. Hunter has been named the new Chief Justice of the Alberta Court of Justice, effective from September 1. Hunter will serve a seven-year term, succeeding outgoing Chief Justice Derek G. Redman, who will continue to serve as a justice in southern Alberta.

The role of the chief justice in the Alberta Court of Justice is to manage the court for the benefit of the public and ensure the efficient administration of justice. Candidates for this position are recommended by the minister of justice from a list provided by the chief justice selection panel.

Mickey Amery, Alberta’s Minister of Justice, expressed his confidence in Hunter’s leadership abilities. “Congratulations to Chief Justice Hunter on his appointment. His experience has served Albertans well. I am confident that Chief Justice Hunter will be a strong leader for the courts,” said Amery. He also thanked Redman for his dedicated service, wishing him well in his continued role as a sitting justice.

Justice Hunter is a graduate of the University of Alberta law school and became a partner at the firm of Grant, Alton, Hunter in Stettler. In 2001, he started his own legal practice. He was appointed to the Alberta Court of Justice in 2009 and was named assistant chief justice in 2014. Prior to his new appointment, Hunter was responsible for overseeing the Justice of the Peace Program since 2021. His duties in that role included securing judicial appointments, addressing concerns raised by justices, and working to improve court effectiveness.

The court underwent a name change in April 2023, transitioning from the Provincial Court of Alberta to the Alberta Court of Justice, in an effort to more accurately reflect the relationship between the court and those seeking justice.