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.”