Provincial Court judge, Kofi Barnes, has been elevated to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
Barnes joins Dr. Irving Andre at the Brampton court, which is one of the busiest in the province with an extremely high proportion of criminal cases.
“I am delighted for Kofi,” said Andre, who was promoted to the Superior Court last November. “He is very well regarded in legal circles and he will make a great contribution here.”
In March 2004, Barnes was sworn in in Oshawa as Canada’s 25th Black judge.
Called to the Bar 20 years ago, he founded the Durham Mental Health & Drug Treatment Court in Oshawa in 2006 and co-founded Canada’s first drug treatment court in Toronto that provides intensive, court-supervised treatment to drug-addicted offenders who commit non-violent crimes related to their addiction.
In addition to his extensive criminal law experience, Barnes has served in various administrative capacities, including team leader of the Federal Prosecution Service, the Toronto Superior Court and the Ontario Court of Justice prosecution teams.
Central East Regional senior judge, Greg Regis, lauded the appointment.
“Kofi brings a common sense approach to the law,” he said. “He’s just a solid judge and I am very excited for him.”
A graduate of Trent University and Osgoode Hall, Barnes is a member of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers and founding president of the Canadian Association of Drug Treatment Court Professionals. He has also provided training internationally under the sponsorship of the United Nations and the Organization of American States.