September 12, 2005

Minister welcomes new deputy sheriffs

Tom Marshall, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, said today he is pleased to welcome five new deputy sheriff officers to the Department of Justice.

“Providing safe and secure court facilities is a high priority for this government and I am pleased to welcome five new deputy sheriffs to the Department of Justice,” Minister Marshall said. “These additions will most certainly ensure that courts and individuals in the courts continue to feel safe.” Government announced funding for these positions in Budget 2005 to expand court security in Corner Brook and Stephenville.

Minister Marshall also noted that five support positions were added to the provincial court and two to the Supreme Court in Budget 2005. “These new positions have reduced workload pressures that have been mounting over the years,” said the minister. “We are consistently striving to make the delivery of justice services throughout the province safer, more accountable, responsive, accessible and equitable. These additions have strengthened our department and will indeed help us meet our objectives.”

The new deputy sheriffs will be sworn in by Chief Justice Derek Green of the Supreme Court, Trial Division, during the Opening of Court Ceremony taking place in Corner Brook today. In addition to these five new positions two other deputy sheriffs who have already been sworn in will take up duties on the west coast, one Corner Brook and one in Stephenville, in lead office supervisory roles. The Opening of Court Ceremony marks the official beginning of the courts fall term. This ceremony has long been a part of the court process in Newfoundland and Labrador and has recently been revived by Chief Justice Green.

Minister Marshall said, “I congratulate the court and Chief Justice, on the decision to hold the fall commencement ceremony outside St. John’s. It sends a positive message to all citizens of the province of the courts willingness to make itself available to all residents of the province. This is important if the rights and freedoms entrenched in the Charter are to be protected and the rule of law preserved.”

The Opening of Court Ceremony will commence at 10:30 a.m. in Courtroom 1, 6th Floor, Sir Richard Squires Building. Minister Marshall will be in attendance to address the ceremony.

Media contact: Billy Hickey, Communications, (709) 729-6985, 691-6390

2005 09 12                               9:20 a.m.

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