Two new chief Crown attorneys were named today, Nov. 3, by Martin Herschorn, director of the Public Prosecution Service. Denise Smith was appointed chief Crown attorney, of the Halifax region and Andrew Macdonald was appointed chief Crown attorney of special prosecutions. “Both Ms. Smith and Mr. Macdonald are distinguished lawyers whose experience, abilities and leadership will be an invaluable asset to the Public Prosecution Service in their new roles as chief Crown attorneys,” said Mr. Herschorn. A native of Halifax, Ms. Smith completed her undergraduate degree at Dalhousie University. She graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto in 1989 and articled with the law firm of Patterson Kitz. She was admitted to the bar in 1990 and was appointed a Crown attorney in 1991. Ms. Smith has conducted prosecutions and appeals at every level of court in the province and before the Supreme Court of Canada. She was appointed a senior Crown attorney in 1996 and was designated a senior Crown counsel in 2003, a designation recognizing exceptional competence in courtroom skills, trial and appellate practice, and related skills and abilities. Ms. Smith was appointed a regional Crown attorney (administrative) for the Halifax region in 2004. Ms. Smith has presented dozens of papers on a variety of legal topics. She serves on several Public Prosecution Service committees including the education committee. She chairs the sexual assault working group and is co-chair of the employee recognition and wellness committee. Ms. Smith also sits on Department of Justice committees dealing with domestic violence and is an active member of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society serving on several bar committees. Mr. Macdonald is a native of Herring Cove. He completed his undergraduate honours degree at Saint Mary’s University in 1984 and graduated from Dalhousie Law School in 1988. Mr. Macdonald articled with the Truro law firm of Burchell, MacDougall and Gruchy in 1988 and was called to the bar in 1989. He practiced with that law firm for several years. In 1993 Mr. Macdonald was appointed a Crown attorney. He has appeared in both Provincial and Supreme courts. He was appointed a senior Crown attorney in 1999. As a Crown attorney in special prosecutions, he has prosecuted large, complex cases including commercial fraud and criminal code gaming offences. Mr. Macdonald has made numerous presentations on a variety of legal topics including fraud and regulatory prosecutions. He was a member of the securities fraud enforcement group of the national Heads of Prosecutions Committee and is currently a member of the Heads of Prosecutions Economic Crime Sub-committee. Mr. Macdonald is also a member of the case management software committee with the Public Prosecution Service.
Samaraweera released a copy of his letter to Sharma a day after President Mahinda Rajapakse’s lawmakers found the nation’s first woman chief justice, Shirani Bandaranayake, guilty of three charges of professional misconduct. But the legality of the process used to try to force out Bandaranayake is being challenged before the Supreme Court by the country’s Bar Association, which represents nearly all the nation’s 11,000 lawyers. (AFP) Sri Lanka’s main opposition party asked the Commonwealth Sunday to investigate the impeachment of the country’s chief justice in what it called a breach of the bloc’s democratic values.Opposition spokesman and former foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera urged the group’s secretary general Kamelesh Sharma to order his disciplinary body, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, to probe Sri Lanka. “It was becoming increasingly clear that the Rajapakse regime was moving away from Commonwealth values and principles,” Samaraweera said in the letter.The “impeachment process — more akin to a witch trial of the dark ages — unleashed against the chief justice has now exposed the true agenda of the regime at its worst,” it said. The panel cleared her, however, of stashing away $250,000 in an undeclared bank account. The chief justice has said there is “not one iota of truth” to the charges.Under parliamentary procedure, if the chief justice is found guilty of even one charge and a majority of the 225-member house votes for her removal, the president can dismiss her within a month.The ruling party holds two-thirds of the house. The Commonwealth is an association of 54 countries, mainly former British colonies, and includes Sri Lanka.Bandaranayake, 54, walked out of the hearing on Thursday, saying she was not getting a fair trial. The opposition MPs in the impeachment panel joined her in the walkout, but the ruling party went ahead to declare her guilty on Saturday.The charges on which she was found guilty include failing to declare nine bank accounts and interfering in a case involving a company from which her sister had bought an apartment. The charges have raised international concerns that the government is trying to control the judiciary after crushing Tamil rebels in 2009 and consolidating its hold on power.