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Saskatchewan names two new judges

Thursday, March 29, 2018 @ 3:02 PM | By Carolyn Gruske

Saskatoon and La Ronge, Sask., will now be home to two new members of the bench.

Mary McAuley and Natasha Crooks have been appointed as a judges in provincial court of Saskatchewan.

Justice McAuley opened her own practice, McAuley Law Firm, in Prince Albert in 2012. Before that she worked as a Crown prosecutor, a defence lawyer with legal aid and as a private lawyer. Justice McAuley did her articling with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice.

Justice McAuley is a Métis whose first language was Cree. Her clients have been largely First Nation and Métis people, and the government expects “her ability to use her first language of Cree and cultural understandings in working and communicating with Cree speaking citizens in the justice system will be an asset in helping them navigate the court process.”

She will preside in La Ronge.

“Judge McAuley is an exceptional appointment to the bench,” said Saskatchewan Justice Minister and Attorney General Don Morgan.  

“She has made valuable contributions to the legal profession in the province for more than 10 years. Her diverse experience will certainly enhance the judicial system in our province.”

Justice Crooks practised general litigation, typically on behalf of government departments. She got her start articling at the Department of Justice Canada. Justice Crooks has been a member of the Parole Board of Canada since 2013 and is part of its executive committee.

Justice Crooks is Métis. She serves as the chair of the Aboriginal Circle, a national committee for the Parole Board of Canada, that provides advice on issues affecting Aboriginal offenders, victims and communities. According to the provincial government, “[t]his role helps shape policy and direction of the board, interpreting legislative change and providing leadership and guidance, particularly on Aboriginal issues.”

She will preside in Saskatoon.

“Judge Crooks is an exceptional appointment to the bench,” said Morgan.

“Her contributions to the legal profession in the province over the last 12 years have been incredibly valuable. Her commitment to public service and diverse experience will enhance the judicial system in our province.”