Statement from the CBA President on the death of the Hon. Robert Wells, Q.C. (St. John’s, NL)

  • October 30, 2020

The Canadian Bar Association is saddened by the passing of The Honourable Robert Wells, St. John’s, NL, at the age of 87.

Justice Wells was a member of the Canadian Bar Association since 1960 and served as Canadian Bar Association National President in 1985-86, the only person from Newfoundland and Labrador to hold the position.

A Rhodes Scholar, called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1958 and to the Bar of Newfoundland in 1959, Justice Wells held many distinguished roles including Member of the House of Assembly, Minister of Health, Government House Leader, Justice of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador - Trial Division, Commissioner of the Offshore Helicopter Safety Inquiry, amongst others.

As CBA president he put an emphasis on legislation and law reform, and oversaw submissions calling for greater access to information held by government, more judicial discretion in sentencing, and opposing bills on imprisonment and conditional release on the grounds they would not improve the system.

Justice Wells served Newfoundland and Labrador and the Canadian legal profession with passion and commitment during his career and will be remembered with admiration. 

The Canadian Bar Association extends condolences to his family, colleagues, friends and all those who mourn his passing.

Brad Regehr
CBA President