“The appointees receiving the Queen’s counsel designation this year help set the standard for service to Albertans through our justice system. Their hard work is vital to providing essential legal services that make a difference in the lives of so many in our province, and it is a pleasure to grant them this well-deserved honour.”
The history of the Queen’s counsel designation traces its origins to the Elizabethan era in England, with Upper Canada admitting its first appointees in 1841. Appointees must have been called to the bar for at least 10 years and demonstrate exceptional competence, professionalism and integrity while contributing to the administration of justice in Alberta.
In Alberta, candidates are screened by a committee of judicial officials, legal representatives and representatives of the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General and his department. Appointment recommendations are then submitted to the minister for consideration. In accordance with the Queen’s Counsel Act, the minister has discretion to identify additional names for appointment, which has happened historically and again this year. The final list is then submitted to cabinet for consideration and approval. Recipients for 2022 include both public and private sector lawyers who have practised in communities across the province.
Under the Queen’s Counsel Act, a person is not allowed to use the Queen’s counsel designation until the letters patent have been signed by the lieutenant-governor and issued to the recipients.