Honourable Robert Wells, Q. C.

The Honourable Robert Wells, Q. C., was appointed as Commissioner of the Offshore Helicopter Safety Inquiry on April 16, 2009. Mr. Wells spent 22 years as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, Trial Division, retiring in 2008. Prior to being named a Supreme Court Justice, Mr. Wells was in practice for 23 years in criminal and civil practice. He was a member of the Department of Justice from 1959 to 1963 as a crown attorney and departmental legal advisor.

Throughout his distinguished career, Mr. Wells served in various voluntary positions related to the legal profession. He was national president of the Canadian Bar Association from 1985-1986 – the only person from the province to hold that position. He had previously served as president of the Law Society of Newfoundland from 1977-1981. He is also past president of the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice; past president International Commission of Jurists (Canadian Section); former chair of the Canadian Bar Association Committee on Human Rights for Development Countries; former member of the International Bar Association Committee on Human Rights and the Rule of Law; chair of the Judicial Council of the Provincial Court of Newfoundland; and, Atlantic representative on the National Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics. In 2002, he was awarded an Honourary Doctorate of Laws by the Benchers of the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador for service to the law and to the community. Mr. Wells is currently chair of the Provincial Criminal Justice Committee.

Mr. Wells was a Member of the House of Assembly from 1972-1979 during which time he served as Minister of Health and Government House Leader.

A Rhodes Scholar, Mr. Wells graduated from Memorial University in 1953 and received his Bachelor of Arts (Law) from Oxford University in 1956, followed by a Masters of Arts from Oxford in 1961. He was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1958 and to the Bar of Newfoundland in 1959. Mr. Wells was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1972.

Commissioner Wells has returned to his arbitration and mediation practice, and can be contacted at .

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