Patrick Curran has been appointed to another five-year term as Chief Judge of the Provincial Court, announced Justice Minister and Attorney General Cecil Clarke today, March 31. Mr. Curran has been working with the provincial court for 26 years and was first appointed as chief judge in January 2003. Before his appointment, he was an associate with Patterson, Smith, Matthews and Grant of Truro, a partner with Innes & Curran of Bedford and served as a legal aid lawyer. In 1970 after graduating from Dalhousie Law School, he was called to the bar. He has also received a bachelor of arts cum laude in philosophy and a bachelor of education from Saint Mary’s University. Mr. Curran has chaired the Provincial Court Education Committee and the Nova Scotia Adult and Youth Criminal Court Forms Committee. He is the past president of the Canadian Association of Provincial Court Judges, the Nova Scotia Provincial Judges Association and a past chair of the Legal Aid Commission. In addition, last year, the term of John D. Comeau, chief judge of the family court, was extended for five years. That reappointment took effect on March 16. Mr. Comeau has served as chief judge of the family court since May 2000 and on the bench of the family court since November 1981. He was called to the bar in 1973 after graduating from St. Francis Xavier University and Dalhousie Law School. Until his appointment to the bench in 1981, he practiced in Digby at the firm of Albert and Comeau. “Over the years, both Chief Judge Curran and Chief Judge Comeau have demonstrated their dedication to the law and to the people of Nova Scotia,” said Mr. Clarke. “We are fortunate that we will continue to benefit from their insight and leadership.” The governor-in-council appoints the chief judge of the provincial and family court on the recommendation of a recruitment committee, which considers applications from current provincial court judges. The committee is comprised of the chief justice of Nova Scotia as chair, the chief judge of the family court, the past chief judge of the provincial court, the president of the Association of Provincial Court Judges and a lay person without a law degree designated by the Minister of Justice.
The Quartet’s backing came in a communiqué released following a meeting in Lisbon that was attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, High Representative for European Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, Portuguese Foreign Minister Luis Amado, and European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner. They were joined by Quartet Representative Tony Blair.“The Quartet welcomed President Bush’s July 16 statement renewing US commitment to a negotiated two-State solution, and supported President Bush’s call for an international meeting in the fall,” stated the communiqué.The Quartet agreed that “such a meeting should provide diplomatic support for the parties in their bilateral discussions and negotiations in order to move forward on a successful path to a Palestinian State.The Quartet welcomed Mr. Blair’s agreement to be its Representative and discussed with him “the urgent work that lies ahead,” according to the communiqué.Noting the centrality of reform, economic development, and institutional capacity building to the establishment of a stable and prosperous Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza that will unite all Palestinians, and live in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbours, the Quartet urged the parties and all states in the region to work closely with Mr. Blair, and encouraged robust international support for his efforts. The Quartet expressed support for the Palestinian Authority Government headed by Salam Fayyad, which is committed to the political platform of President Abbas. It also “encouraged direct and rapid financial assistance and other aid to the Palestinian Authority government to help reform, preserve, and strengthen vital Palestinian institutions and infrastructure, and to support the rule of law.”The Quartet welcomed the resumption of bilateral talks between Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas, and expressed support for steps taken by the Israeli Government, including the resumption of tax and customs revenue transfers and the decision to release Palestinian prisoners.The communiqué also encouraged continued bilateral dialogue and further cooperation and urged both parties to work without delay to fulfil their previous commitments and to build confidence. Recognizing the continuing importance of the Arab Peace Initiative, the Quartet looked forward to the planned visit to Israel by representatives of the Arab League to discuss the Initiative. “The Quartet emphasized the need to find ways to sustain Palestinian economic activity and the importance of creating circumstances that would allow for full implementation of the Agreement on Movement and Access, particularly in view of the impact of crossings on the Palestinian economy and daily life,” the communiqué said, encouraging parties to address their obligations under the Roadmap – an outline plan envisaging a two-State solution – including an end to settlement expansion and the removal of unauthorized outposts, and an end to violence and terror.The Quartet expressed its deep concern over the humanitarian conditions in Gaza and agreed on the importance of continued emergency and humanitarian assistance.The communiqué also reaffirmed the Quartet’s its commitment to bring about an end to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and to work to lay the foundation for the establishment of an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in peace and security, as a step towards a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in the Middle East, consistent with the Roadmap and UN Security Council resolutions.The next meeting of the Quartet will take place in September, the communiqué says, noting that members will continue to consult regularly on developments in the meantime. 19 July 2007The diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East – comprising the United Nations, European Union, Russian Federation and the United States – today supported US President Bush’s call for an international meeting in the fall.