In an emotional farewell to staff, Anne Roland, Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada since 1990, reminisced yesterday about the many changes she has seen at Canada’s highest judicial institution where she started working 32 years ago. Roland retired this week.
As Registar, she acted as the Court’s top administrative official, with responsibilities for appointment and supervision of Court staff, the management of the Library and the Registry, and the publication of the Supreme Court Reports.
Madame Roland emigrated from France and joined the Canadian public service some 37 years ago, working first in translation before moving to the judicial branch.
As Registrar, Madame Roland oversaw a tremendous transformation of the Court: computerization, expansion of staff in fields such as jurilinguistics and IT, major building renovations, the reform of the rules of the Court, the modernization of the courtroom (the Supreme Court of Canada is now considered to have one of the most technologically advanced hearing rooms of any appellate court in the world), and more.
She leaves behind a reputation as a rigorous administrator and a tenacious defender of our independence as an institution.
I’ve only been at the Supreme Court of Canada for 3 years so I did not live through many of those changes. I will remember her mostly for her great sense of humour and fun, her infectious laugh and her approachability. And, of course, for her unflagging support for the Library.
Her successor has not yet been named. In the meantime, the Deputy Registrar, Louise Meagher, will be the acting Registrar.