Chief Justice Bluntly Warns Cupboard Bare

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Media Mention

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The Lawyers Weekly


Chief justices are asking whether the federal government is breaching the Constitution by financially “starving” the disciplinary body for federal judges — a state of affairs that has prompted Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin to protest the persistent cash crunch at the Canadian Judicial Council (CJC) which she chairs.

Neither the Liberals, nor the predecessor Conservative government, reversed budget cuts imposed by Ottawa on the CJC more than two years ago, notwithstanding several requests since for more money from the council of 39 chief justices. The statutory body created in 1971 oversees the discipline of some 1,100 federally appointed judges as part of its objects under the Judges Act to “promote efficiency, uniformity and accountability and to improve the quality of judicial service in all superior courts.” “

Sadly I must tell you that since losing a major part of our council funding in 2014 and not seeing it restored in budget 2016, despite our request, the council finds itself struggling to fulfil its statutory objects,” Canada’s top judge told the Canadian Bar Association Aug. 11.