Canada’s Judges Urged to Speak Out and Change Outdated Perceptions

Document Type

Media Mention

Publication Date


Source Publication

The Globe and Mail


A newly retired chief judge says Canada’s judicial leadership needs to “get into the 21st century” and speak publicly about the issues facing the justice system, rather than hiding behind the outdated notion that judges speak only through their rulings.

Neil Wittmann of Alberta was one of just five sitting judges who spoke in public sessions of the Senate’s legal and constitutional affairs committee, discussing how to fix delays in the justice system, in light of a Supreme Court ruling last summer that set time limits for criminal trials.

By comparison, 32 judges spoke either at in-camera sessions (closed to the public, but with verbatim recordings made) or completely private sessions of the Senate committee.