Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces a judicial appointment in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador

News release

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces a judicial appointment in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador

May 26, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada

The Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointment under the judicial application process established in 2016. This process emphasizes transparency, merit, and the diversity of the Canadian population, and will continue to ensure the appointment of jurists who meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity.

Peter A. O’Flaherty, Q.C., a sole practitioner in St. John’s, is appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador. Mr. Justice O’Flaherty fills the last remaining position of the 12 positions authorized further to the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1. He will be assigned to Grand Bank by the Chief Justice.


“I wish Justice O’Flaherty every success as he takes on his new role. I am confident he will serve the people of Newfoundland and Labrador well as a member of the Supreme Court.”

The Hon. David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada


Justice Peter A. O’Flaherty, Q.C., earned a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New Brunswick in 1989. He articled with the firm Martin, Whalen, Hennebury and Stamp in St. John’s and was admitted to the Bar of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1990. From 1998 to 1999, he was a graduate student in London and a member of a vibrant international community while residing at the Goodenough College. In 1999, he received a Master of Laws from the University of London, and was admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales.

Mr. Justice O’Flaherty returned to St. John’s in 1999 and joined the firm Goodland O’Flaherty, where he worked on natural resources and indigenous law matters, commercial litigation, policing, labor law, maritime law, and judicial review. He worked extensively in Labrador and served as a director of Air Labrador Limited from 2012 to 2017. In 2016, he co-founded O’Flaherty Wells Law and established the firm O’Flaherty Legal Services in 2019. He has appeared as counsel before the Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Federal Court, the Federal Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of Canada. In 2017, he was appointed Queen’s Counsel.

Justice O’Flaherty played rugby with the Swilers Rugby Club in St. John’s and became an amateur sport volunteer with Sport NL and Rugby Canada. He is an avid reader and salmon fisherman and the proud father of Sarah and Jack.

Quick facts

  • At the Superior Court level, more than 450 judges have been appointed since November 2015. These exceptional jurists represent the diversity that strengthens Canada. Of these judges, more than half are women, and appointments reflect an increased representation of visible minorities, Indigenous, LGBTQ2+, and those who self-identify as having a disability.

  • The Government of Canada is committed to promoting access to justice for all Canadians. To improve outcomes for Canadian families, Budget 2018 provides 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.

  • 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.

  • The Government of Canada is committed to promoting a justice system in which sexual assault matters are decided fairly, without the influence of myths and stereotypes, and in which survivors are treated with dignity and compassion. Changes to the Judges Act and Criminal Code, which came into force on May 6, 2021, mean that in order to be eligible for appointment to a provincial superior court, candidates must agree to participate in continuing education on matters related to sexual assault law and social context, which includes systemic racism and systemic discrimination. The new legislation enhances the transparency of decisions by amending the Criminal Code to require that judges provide written reasons, or enter them into the record, when deciding sexual assault matters.


For more information, media may contact:

David Taylor
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Justice

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada

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