‘Kind of an anomaly’: Anne Jeffries reflects on being one of the first female judges in N.B. – New Brunswick

Provincial Court Judge Anne Jeffries remembers getting called “dear” a lot.

“I got that from the accused,” said Jeffries, who was one of first women in New Brunswick to be appointed  to the bench in 1997.

“You know, they’d be, ‘Yes dear,’ ‘I understand dear.’ … They weren’t used to seeing a female judge and a lot of them almost didn’t know how to react to it,” she said.

“They weren’t sure what to call you. Do I call her ‘Her Honour?’ You were kind of an anomaly at the time. But you take it as it comes, and from whence it comes.”

A lot has changed in the two decades since then, said Jeffries, 67, who is based in Saint John.

New Brunswick is now the only province with an equal number of women and men serving as full-time provincial court judges. Gender equity in other provinces ranges between 33 per cent and 46 per cent.

The New Brunswick milestone was reached last month when Premier Brian Gallant appointed five new women to the bench. He also promoted a…

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