By Lethbridge Herald on June 9, 2020.
Lethbridge provincial court Judge Derek G. Redman has been called to Edmonton to take up the role of Chief Judge for the Provincial Court of Alberta.
Redman will begin his seven-year term in the role as of Aug. 1. He told The Herald on Tuesday he was excited by the challenges ahead.
“My thought was this,” he stated: “being in my present position, being from Lethbridge and spending most of my professional life here, I was very challenged by the work that was going on in the South Region. I enjoyed it immensely, but I was also very excited about taking on the position of Chief Judge.”
Redman grew up in Lethbridge and then later practised law in the community before being appointed as a provincial court judge in 2007. For the past three years, he has served as assistant chief judge for the South Region, a role he credits with giving him a solid foundation to undertake the even more demanding administrative duties ahead.
“In my present job I spend four days out of the week acting as a regular judge,” he explained. “That is to say, I sit in court. I hear cases. I do things the other judges do. And one day a week I do administrative duties. Now the focus of my job as Chief of the Provincial Court will be administrative duties; although it is my intention to continue to sit as a regular judge in all areas of the court’s jurisdiction as well as in various regions of the court.”
In March, Redman stood by Justice Minister and Solicitor General Doug Schweitzer at Lethbridge Police Service headquarters as Schweitzer announced Lethbridge would become home to the newest drug treatment court in Alberta.
Redman spoke in praise of drug treatment courts at that event and the constructive way they work at finding ways for the long-term recovery of addicts who commit crimes because of their addictions.
In an interview with The Herald on Tuesday, Schweitzer said it was this type of “common sense” approach to his role as a judge, and his natural leadership qualities, which make Redman the ideal candidate to take over as Chief Judge of the Provincial Court.
“When we interviewed Judge Redman he really had a true understanding of all the issues and challenges facing so many Albertans, and Albertans that interface with the provincial court,” explained Schweitzer. “That is one of the benefits when you have a Chief Judge coming in from a centre like Lethbridge. They are exposed to every area of the provincial court. In other, bigger centres like Calgary and Edmonton they specialize a little more into a particular niche area. Having somebody like Judge Redman, who has had the opportunity and experience in all the facets of our provincial court, is a real benefit.”
Redman said he has continued fond regard for Lethbridge as he prepares to move to Edmonton to take up his new duties as Chief Judge.
“Lethbridge is a fabulous community,” Redman said. “A great place to work. A great place to raise a family. It has a nice combination of commercial, agricultural and cultural activities. It’s just a wonderful city, and to have lived here in my youth and then to have worked here as a lawyer, and to practise here as a judge, it’s just a unique location.”
“I will miss Lethbridge,” he added, “but the spirit of Lethbridge will remain in me. The whole idea of people co-operating to solve problems and people rowing in the same direction, that will remain with me no matter where I am.”
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