Friday, February 23, 2007

REAL Women of Canada on Judicial Appointments

Received by email:

The Self-interest of the Legal Establishment in Judicial Appointments

The spat between the Canadian Judicial Council, some of the judges and the Bar, and the Conservative government, over federal Judicial Appointments Advisory Committees (JACs) is nothing more than a power struggle by the legal establishment to retain control over the appointments system.

The legal establishment, which already has representation on the JACs, is complaining that the decision to give the police a vote on these committees will “politicize” the appointment system and compromise the independence of the appointments structure. They argue that the JACs should be comprised mainly of lawyers and judges.

The legal establishment is concerned that any changes to the JACs will alter the closed circle that has operated freely to pick and choose who should be considered for federal judicial appointments. The previous system resulted in many former presidents of the Canadian Bar Association and provincial law societies receiving judicial appointments.

Consequently, Canadians should be highly skeptical about the opinions of the organized Bench and Bar on the subject of judicial appointments.

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