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Notice of Inquiry in Senate Chamber: Judicial Appointment Process

Judicial Appointment Process

Notice of Inquiry

Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, I give notice, pursuant to rules 5-1 and 5-6(2), that:

I will call the attention of the Senate to:

(a) the constitutional code and practices called judicial independence, the legal and political concepts, enshrined in our constitution, most particularly in the British North America Act 1867 sections 96-101, which prescribe the constitutional position of the superior court judges of Canada, and the duty of our houses of parliament to protect them, and to superintend judicial independence, and, justice itself, and;

(b) to the disturbing media accounts respecting the failed appointment process to the Supreme Court of Canada of a Federal Court Judge, the Honourable Justice Mark Nadon, and;

(c) to the spoiled selection process that has so afflicted Justice Nadon, by which he had been selected for appointment to the Supreme Court, pursuant to the ancient section 6 of the Supreme Court of Canada Act, which section, jealously held by the people and province of Quebec, prescribes that the three Supreme Court judges appointed from Quebec must possess current mastery of the civil law, and be selected from among the current judges of Quebec's superior courts, or, from among the current members and practitioners of the Quebec bar, of which Justice Nadon is not, and;

(d) to the clearly drafted section 6 of the Supreme Court Act which dictates that,

At least three of the judges shall be appointed from among the judges of the Court of Appeal or of the Superior Court of the Province of Quebec or from among the advocates of that Province,


(e) to the constitutional constancy of section 6 of the Supreme Court of Canada Act, which section has remained the same in text and substance as originally enacted in 1875 and section 4 of An Act to establish a Supreme Court, and a Court of Exchequer, for the Dominion of Canada, which prescribed the eligibility requirements for judicial appointment to the Supreme Court, being current membership of the Quebec bar, which is a law that was well known to many, resulting in unfair and tragic consequences to Justice Nadon, both professionally and personally.


The remainder of this day's Senate Debates are available here.