August 31, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada
The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointment under the new judicial application process announced on October 20, 2016. The new process emphasizes transparency, merit, and diversity, and will continue to ensure the appointment of jurists who meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity.
Michael Kraus, Q.C., a partner at Emery Jamieson LLP, is appointed a justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in Edmonton. He replaces Justice A.W. Germain, who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective May 10, 2018.
Justice Michael Kraus obtained his B.A. (Honours) from the University of Alberta in 1986 and his LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1989. Prior to his appointment, Justice Kraus spent his entire legal career in private practice in Edmonton. He brings to the Court of Queen’s Bench significant expertise in family law.
After articling at Parlee McLaws, Justice Kraus was called to the Alberta Bar in 1990. From 1991 to 2001, he maintained a general practice with a focus on civil litigation and family law at small firms, Hattersley & Company (later Carr & Company) for one year and Spitz & Carr for nine years. In 2001, Justice Kraus joined Emery Jamieson LLP, where he practised primarily in the area of family law. In addition, he served as a Child Support Resolution Officer, working to assist self-represented parties resolve child support disputes without going to court. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel by the province of Alberta in 2014.
Throughout his career, Justice Kraus volunteered as an instructor for the Bar Admission Course, the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education, and the Edmonton Community Legal Centre. He participated on panels for the Legal Education Society of Alberta and the Canadian Bar Association, served as a member of many legal committees, and was a mentor to young lawyers. In addition, he frequently provided pro bono legal services to the general community and Czech-speaking community.
Justice Kraus volunteered for many years with not-for-profit organizations. He was a board member of the Edmonton Heritage Festival Association and most recently served as President. He was involved with children’s hockey, both at the board and coaching levels.
The son of a Holocaust survivor, Justice Kraus was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic). His family immigrated to Canada as refugees in 1968. Justice Kraus is married with three children.
- In 2017, the Minister of Justice made 100 appointments and elevations – the most a Minister of Justice has made in one year in at least two decades. Of these appointees, half are women, four are Indigenous, and 16 have self-identified as a member of a visible minority population, LGBTQ2, or a person with a disability.
- The Government of Canada is committed to promoting access to justice for all Canadians. To improve outcomes for Canadian families, Budget 2018 will provide funding of $77.2 million over four years to support the expansion of unified family courts, beginning in 2019-2020. This investment in the family justice system will create 39 new judicial positions in Alberta, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
- In addition, Budget 2018 provided funding for a further seven judicial positions in Saskatchewan and Ontario, at a cost of $17.1 million over five years.
- The funding outlined in Budget 2018 comes on top of resources allocated under Budget 2017, which created 28 new judicial positions across the country.
- In addition, the Government will invest $6 million over two years, beginning in 2018-2019, to support the judicial discipline process through which allegations of judicial misconduct are investigated. In this way, the Government will ensure that a robust process remains in place to allow Canadians to voice their concerns and submit complaints about judicial conduct to the Canadian Judicial Council and the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs.
- Federal judicial appointments are made by the Governor General, acting on the advice of the federal Cabinet and recommendations from the Minister of Justice.
- The Judicial Advisory Committees across Canada play a key role in evaluating judicial applications. There are 17 Judicial Advisory Committees, with each province and territory represented.
- Significant reforms to the role and structure of the Judicial Advisory Committees, aimed at enhancing the independence and transparency of the process, were announced on October 20, 2016. Sixteen Judicial Advisory Committees have been reconstituted to date.