How many applicants were there?
There were a total of 14 applicants.
Were any applicants encouraged to apply?
Under the new appointment process launched last year, any qualified Canadian lawyer or judge can apply for an appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada. As part of this open and transparent process, people were encouraged to share the qualifications and assessment criteria with anybody they thought would be qualified for an appointment. Furthermore, members of the Advisory Board proactively reached out to certain individuals to encourage them to apply.
B. Independent Advisory Board for Supreme Court of Canada Judicial Appointments
Who are the members of the Advisory Board?
The Advisory Board is comprised of the following members:
- The Right Honourable Kim Campbell (Chairperson) is the former Prime Minister of Canada and Canadian Consul General, and is the Founding Principal of the Peter Lougheed Leadership College at the University of Alberta
- Camille Cameron is the Dean of the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University, and Chair of the Canadian Council of Law Deans
- Stephen Kakfwi is the former Premier of the Northwest Territories and President of the Dene Nation, and is working to improve the recognition and realities of Indigenous Peoples within Canada
- Sheila MacPherson is the President-elect of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, a senior lawyer in Yellowknife and the Law Clerk of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories
- Lili-Anna Pereša is the President and Executive Director of Centraide of Greater Montréal
- Richard J. Scott is the former Chief Justice of the Manitoba Court of Appeal, and is a counsel, arbitrator and mediator in a Winnipeg law firm
- Susan Ursel is a senior partner with a Toronto firm, and Chair of the Canadian component of the African Legal Research Team, which provides legal research support to Envisioning Global LGBT Rights
Representatives from the judiciary and legal community help assess candidates’ professional qualifications, while members who are not from the legal community help bring a diversity of views to the Advisory Board’s deliberations.
The Government has carefully selected members to ensure gender balance, diversity (including linguistic diversity), and regional balance, with members being drawn from different parts of Canada. The role of all members is to bring their diverse backgrounds and viewpoints with the ultimate goal of identifying the best candidates.
What was the Advisory Board’s process?
The Advisory Board considered all applications received through the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs, and assessed them against the qualifications and assessment criteria to identify jurists of the highest calibre who are functionally bilingual and representative of the diversity of Canada. The Advisory Board also consulted with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and other key stakeholders.
How was functional bilingualism assessed?
Candidates indicated their proficiency in both official languages in their application. The Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs conducted individual assessments of some candidates to verify their understanding of written and oral arguments, as well as to determine whether candidates have the ability to speak in both official languages.
How was the geographical requirement assessed?
Candidates needed to demonstrate that they were from Western Canada (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba) or Northern Canada (Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon). Candidates could demonstrate that that they satisfied this requirement by referencing their bar membership, judicial appointment, or other relationship with Western Canada or Northern Canada.
How many names did the Advisory Board recommend to the Prime Minister?
The Advisory Board submitted a shortlist of 3 candidates to the Prime Minister.
C. MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND ATTORNEY GENERAL OF CANADA PROCESS
What process did the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada follow?
The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada undertook a rigorous and exhaustive jurisprudential and academic review of each candidate. She also consulted the Chief Justice of Canada, the Chair of the Advisory Board, the relevant Attorneys General, the Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, the Chair of the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, and the Opposition Justice Critics.
What stakeholders were consulted?
The Government consulted all official parties in the House of Commons to ensure that the selection process was open and transparent, and set a higher standard for accountability. During the creation of the Advisory Board, the Government consulted with representatives from the judiciary and legal community, including the Canadian Judicial Council, the Canadian Bar Association, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, and the Council of Canadian Law Deans. The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada also engaged with prominent and well respected Canadians from outside the legal community. More information will be available in the Advisory Board’s report that will be published one month after the date of appointment.
If the nominee is successful, what would the salary and the length of their appointment be?
Justices of the Supreme Court of Canada receive an annual salary of $375,300 and hold office during good behaviour until the age of 75.
E. SPECIAL JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE HEARING
Why hold a special hearing?
The special hearing is an important part of the Government’s commitment to openness and transparency. It provides Parliamentarians the opportunity to better understand the due diligence and consultation process and the reasons why this nominee was selected. It also provides Canadians an opportunity to learn more about the nominee, as well as the role and function of the Supreme Court of Canada.
Who will participate in the special hearing?
The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, and the Chair of the Advisory Board, the Right Honourable Kim Campbell, will participate in the special hearing.
Members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights will be able to ask questions of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and the Chair of the Advisory Board.
F. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SESSION WITH THE NOMINEE
Why hold a questions and answers session with the nominee?
It provides an opportunity for Canadians to get to know the nominee to our country's highest court.
Where will it take place?
The questions and answers session will take place on December 5, 2017, at the Sir John A. MacDonald Building at 114 Wellington in Ottawa.
Who is invited to attend?
Parliamentarians, special guests, and law students from across the country have been invited to attend.
Who will be allowed to ask the nominee questions?
Members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, and certain members of the Bloc Québécois and the Green Party will be allowed to ask the nominee questions.
Who selected the event’s moderator?
The Prime Minister selected the moderator, François Larocque, a well-respected law professor.
G. APPOINTMENT OF THE NEW CHIEF JUSTICE
What is the process for appointing the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada?
After identifying the ninth member of the Supreme Court of Canada, the process to select the next Chief Justice will start. The Prime Minister will determine who from among the nine members of the Court – including the most recent nominee – is best-placed to serve as the Chief Justice of Canada.
The Chief Justice fosters collegial decision-making on the Court, attends to a myriad of leadership and administrative responsibilities, and effectively represents the Canadian judiciary at home and abroad. Before choosing the Chief Justice, the Prime Minister will consult with the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, the outgoing Chief Justice, and the prospective candidate or candidates. The Prime Minister will then publicly announce the next Chief Justice.
When will the next Chief Justice be appointed?
The Prime Minister will announce the appointment of the next Chief Justice of Canada by mid-December 2017.