Who Appoints Supreme Court Judges in Canada

The appointment process has been the source of some controversy in recent years, as appointments are made without the involvement of parliament or opposition parties. Critics have argued that this process has allowed the Prime Minister to effectively stack the courts with ideologically similar people who will support the current government`s position. Conservative critics have argued that this leads to the rise of partisan and activist judges instead of neutral judges. Conversely, supporters justified the appointment process by saying that silent appointments made as a result of the Prime Minister`s consultation with experts lead to better decisions than those made through a public process in which opposition politicians are allowed to question candidates and politicize the process. In 2006, an interview phase by an ad hoc committee of MEPs was added. Judge Marshall Rothstein was the first judge to stand trial on trial. The Prime Minister always has the final say on the recommended nominee to the Governor General for appointment to the Court. The government again proposed an interview phase in 2008, but a general election and a minority parliament were delayed, so the Prime Minister recommended Justice Cromwell after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition. [ref. needed] The Chief Justice also chairs the Board of Governors of the National Judicial Institute. The National Judicial Institute develops and delivers a variety of training programs to all federal, provincial and territorial judges in Canada. Judges in federally controlled positions (federally appointed positions) may serve on the bench until age 75. In some, but not all, provincial and territorial positions, appointed judges serve until age 70.

The effect of a judicial decision on the common law, on statutory interpretation or on any other application of the law may de facto be nullified by statute, unless the particular decision of that court relates to the application of the Canadian Constitution, in which case the decision is (in most cases) entirely binding on Parliament. This applies in particular to decisions involving the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which cannot be modified by Parliament unless the decision is set aside under section 33 (the “reservation clause”). Every jurisdiction in Canada has a judicial council that is responsible for promoting and administering professional standards and conduct. For provincially and territorially appointed judges, each province or territory has a judicial council. Its members include judges, lawyers and the general public. Judicial councils develop guidelines and codes of conduct to guide judges. Along with the Federal Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights, the Supreme Court of Canada is one of the most frequently cited courts in the world. [8]: 21, 27–28 Candidates for these tribunals are reviewed by a Judicial Advisory Committee established for each province or territory. Several provinces have established independent committees that produce a short list of recommendations.

[1] Committees are often composed of representatives from the federal and state governments, the legal profession, the judiciary and the public. [1] The creation of the Supreme Court of Canada was provided for in the British North America Act, 1867, renamed the Constitution Act, 1867 in 1982. The first bills to create a federal supreme court, introduced in the Canadian Parliament in 1869 and 1870, were withdrawn. It was not until April 8, 1875, that legislation was passed providing for the creation of a Supreme Court of Canada. [3] The Chief Justice presides over all sessions of the Court attended by him. The President of the Court supervises the work of the Court by designating the Judicial Chambers responsible for hearing cases and applications submitted to it. “How do you get people to trust the decisions of a Supreme Court if they see it as an extension of politics? And in Canada, we have managed to avoid that. The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC; French: The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) is the highest court in the Canadian judicial system. [2] It consists of nine judges whose decisions are the ultimate application of Canadian law and grants between 40 and 75 litigants leave each year to challenge decisions of provincial, territorial and federal courts of appeal. The Supreme Court is bijural and hears cases from two major legal traditions (common law and civil law) and bilingual, and hears cases in both of Canada`s official languages (English and French). Judges must devote themselves exclusively to their judicial activities.

No judge may hold any other remunerated office or participate in a corporation. A judge shall hold office in good conduct until he or she retires or reaches the age of 75, but is removed by the Governor General for incompetence or professional misconduct in the performance of his or her duties before that date when addressed by the Senate and the House of Commons. The Constitution Act, 1982 expanded the role of the court in Canadian society by adding the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which significantly expanded the scope of judicial review. The evolution of the court under Chief Justice Brian Dickson (1984-90) to that of Antonio Lamer (1990-2000) demonstrated enduring strength in protecting civil liberties. Lamer`s criminal history influenced the number of criminal cases heard by the Court during his tenure as Chief Justice. Nevertheless, Lamer was more conservative with respect to Charter rights, with a success rate of only about 1% for Charter claimants. [ref. needed] The following organizations also support judges in Canada: The Supreme Court Act limits the ability to appoint superior court judges or members of the bar for ten years or more. Members of the Barreau or the supreme magistracy of Québec are required by law to hold three of the nine positions on the Supreme Court of Canada.

[17] This is justified by the fact that Quebec uses civil law and not common law as in the rest of the country. As explained in the explanatory memorandum to Reference re Supreme Court Act, §§ 5 and 6, sitting judges of the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal cannot be appointed to any of the three seats in Quebec. According to the Convention, the remaining six positions will be distributed as follows: three from Ontario; two of the western provinces, usually one from British Columbia and one from the Prairie provinces, that rotate between them (although Alberta is known to cause jumps in the rotation); and one of the Atlantic provinces, almost always Nova Scotia or New Brunswick. [ref. needed] In writing, the Chief Justice is referred to as “the Right Honourable” and the other judges “the Honourable Justice” or “the Honourable Mr. Justice”. Lamer`s successor as chief justice was Beverley McLachlin in January 2000. She was the first woman to hold this position. [4] McLachlin`s appointment led to a more focused and unified court. There were fewer dissenting and unanimous opinions than during Dickson and Lamer. With the appointment of puisne judges Louise Charron and Rosalie Abella in 2005, the Court became the most balanced national Supreme Court in the world, with four of its nine members being women.

[5] [6] The resignation of Justice Marie Deschamps on August 7, 2012 reduced the number to three; [7] However, with the appointment of Suzanne Côté on December 1, 2014, the number was increased to four. After 28 years and 259 days (17 years and 341 days as Chief Justice), Ms. McLachlin retired in December 2017. His successor as Chief Justice was Richard Wagner. “Imagine a court where out of nine judges, you have at least seven at a time Anthony Kennedy.” Defence lawyers appearing in court may use English or French. Judges may also use English or French. There will be simultaneous interpretation for judges, lawyers and the public in the audience. The court`s decision is sometimes – but rarely – made orally at the end of the hearing. In such cases, the court may simply refer to the court`s decision below to explain its own reasons.