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The Prime Minister's Office has appointed a new chief justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

Christopher E. Hinkson, formerly a B.C. Court of Appeal judge, was named to the post on Friday.

Justice Hinkson obtained his law degree from the University of British Columbia and was admitted to the bar in 1976. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1990.

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He worked for Harper Grey LLP from 1976 to 2007, focusing on medical malpractice, personal injury, professional negligence, commercial litigation, human-rights litigation and administrative law. He was appointed to the Supreme Court of B.C. as a judge in 2007 and joined the Court of Appeal three years later.

Justice Hinkson was not available for an interview Friday, a court spokeswoman said.

The B.C. Supreme Court is the province's superior trial court, over the provincial court. The Court of Appeal is the province's highest court.

As chief justice of the Supreme Court of B.C., Justice Hinkson will replace Robert Bauman, who in June was named the Chief Justice of British Columbia. He replaced Lance Finch, who retired.

Justice Bauman had been appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of B.C. in 2009. He was a Supreme Court justice starting in 1996, before moving to the Court of Appeal in 2008. He was called to the bar in in 1975.

Samiran Lakshman, with the Crown Counsel Association, said he was not well acquainted with Justice Hinkson and could not comment on his appointment.

A spokesman with the Trial Lawyers Association of B.C. did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

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Justice Hinkson was reportedly on a B.C. Court of Appeal panel that last year ruled against accused gangster Jamie Bacon. The panel ruled Mr. Bacon's Charter rights were not violated when a lower-court judge allowed evidence involving guns found in his vehicle, the Vancouver Sun reported. The newspaper also reported that Justice Hinkson was on a panel that ordered a new murder trial for a Cranbrook man because the judge did not properly instruct jurors.

Last month, Justice Hinkson was on a panel that denied an attempt by a man to have his dangerous offender designation overturned.

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