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May 24, 2011

Ministry of Attorney General



Supreme Court masters appointed for Kamloops, Vancouver


VICTORIA – Robert McDiarmid, QC, and Heather MacNaughton have been appointed masters of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Attorney General Barry Penner announced today.


They will take their seats in Kamloops and Vancouver respectively, effective June 1.


Section 11 of the Supreme Court Act allows the lieutenant-governor, on the recommendation of the attorney general, who consults with the chief justice, to appoint one or more masters of the court. A master presides in civil chambers and registrar hearings and makes decisions about pre-trial motions and procedural orders.


McDiarmid received a law degree from the University of British Columbia in 1975 and is a partner at Morelli Chertkow in Kamloops. He has practiced law, with an emphasis on civil litigation, for 35 years. McDiarmid is a past president and bencher of the Law Society of British Columbia. He was appointed Queen’s counsel (QC) in 1986.


MacNaughton received a master of law degree in 1998 from Osgoode Hall at York University. She arrived in British Columbia in 2000, serving as chair of the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal until 2010. 


The process for the appointment of a master involves several steps. Applications are solicited and reviewed by an ad hoc committee consisting of the deputy attorney general, chief justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, president of the Law Society of British Columbia and the president of the Canadian Bar Association, B.C. branch (or their delegates).


A short list is created and candidates are selected by the ad hoc committee, which then makes recommendations to the attorney general. The chief justice is consulted before the attorney general makes a recommendation to cabinet. The final appointment is made through a cabinet order-in-council.



Dave Townsend

Government Communications and Public Engagement

Ministry of Attorney General

250 387-4962

250 889-5945 (cell)


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