News December 3, 2007

Legislative Assembly Recommends Appointments to the Human Rights Adjudication Panel

YELLOWKNIFE (December 3, 2007) – Members of the Legislative Assembly have recommended the appointments of Ms. Joan Mercredi, of Fort Smith, and Mr. Adrian Wright, of Yellowknife, to the NWT Human Rights Adjudication Panel. The four-year terms began on December 1, 2007. 

The Human Rights Act of the Northwest Territories, Section 48(1), calls for the establishment of an Adjudication Panel composed of at least three persons appointed by the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories on the recommendation of the Legislative Assembly. The Human Rights Adjudication Panel is an independent tribunal with the authority to hear and decide cases in a fair and impartial manner. Cases may arise out of a complaint referred for hearing to determine the merits, or on an appeal arising from the dismissal of a complaint by the Director of the Human Rights Commission. 

Ms. Joan Mercredi is a Métis lawyer born and raised in the NWT. She has been a member of the NWT Law Society for 14 years and is currently in private practice in Fort Smith. Ms. Mercredi served occasionally as the Fair Practices Officer for the GNWT in the 1990s and was legal counsel for the Nunavut government from 2001 to 2004, where her work included public consultations and implementation issues respecting the Nunavut Human Rights Act. Ms. Mercredi was appointed to the NWT Human Rights Adjudication Panel in October 2004 for a three-year term. Ms. Mercredi has also been contracted to the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat Canada as an independent adjudicator since November 2004. 

Mr. Adrian Wright is a Yellowknife resident and member of the NWT Law Society since 1984. Mr. Wright’s private practice concentrates mainly on the areas of civil litigation and administrative law. He has acted as counsel in matters under the Fair Practices Act and the Human Rights Act, as well as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Mr. Wright has specific arbitration training, has acted as counsel before many administrative tribunals, and has been involved in a variety of committees with the NWT Law Society and the Canadian Bar Association. 

On behalf of the Legislative Assembly, Speaker Paul Delorey extended thanks to Ms. Shannon Gullberg, whose term as a member of the NWT Human Rights Adjudication Panel expired on October 31, 2007. 

For further information contact: 

Tim Mercer, Clerk 
Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories 
P: 867- 669-2299 
F: 867-873-4735