The Honourable Deborah E. Fry was appointed to the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, Trial Division, in 2007. She has spent the last several years as a judge of the Family Division of the Supreme Court and most recently as the senior administrative judge of that Division.
Throughout her judicial career, Justice Fry has participated in national and international projects. She is particularly passionate about assisting with innovative dispute resolution processes, and has extensive experience and training in conflict resolution and mediation. She sits on the Board of Directors of the National Judges Counselling Program, and previously served as president of the Program. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian chapter of the International Association of Women Judges, and remains involved with the organization as a member.
Prior to becoming a judge, Justice Fry built a distinguished career in the Newfoundland and Labrador Public Service. She first joined the provincial Department of Justice as an articling student, and went on to appear before all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada. She held numerous senior leadership positions, including serving as Deputy Minister of several departments and as Clerk of the Executive Council and Secretary to Cabinet. Justice Fry later returned to the private practice of law as co-founder of the Centre for Innovative Dispute Resolution.
Justice Fry volunteered her time and served as a board member on many community organizations. In recognition of her contributions, Justice Fry received the YMCA-YWCA St. John’s Women of Distinction Award and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal. In 2003 and 2004, she was named among Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women.
Justice Fry holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Bachelor of Laws (with distinction), both from the University of Saskatchewan. Before attending law school, she worked as a paediatric and public health nurse, and taught nursing in Australia and Saskatchewan. Justice Fry is married to John Clarke, Q.C., and enjoys spending time with her daughter and son.