The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today launched the process to select the next justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, who will fill the vacancy created by the upcoming retirement of Justice Michael J. Moldaver. Applications from qualified candidates will be accepted until May 13, 2022.
The Prime Minister also announced the Honourable H. Wade MacLauchlan, former Premier of Prince Edward Island, as Chair and member of the Independent Advisory Board for Supreme Court of Canada Judicial Appointments. This non-partisan board is responsible for identifying candidates who are jurists of the highest calibre, functionally bilingual, and representative of the diversity of our country.
After the application period closes, the Advisory Board will review applications and submit a shortlist of highly qualified candidates to the Prime Minister for consideration.
Justice Moldaver was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada from the Ontario Court of Appeal in 2011. In recognition of the convention of regional representation, the process will be open to all qualified applicants from Ontario.
“The Supreme Court of Canada plays a critical role in Canada’s democracy. This open, transparent, and independent process we are launching today will identify esteemed Canadian legal minds to serve at the highest court of our country. I wish to take this opportunity to thank Justice Moldaver for his service over the past decade as a justice of the Supreme Court, and congratulate him on his distinguished judicial career that has spanned more than three decades. I also wish to thank the Right Honourable Kim Campbell for her service in chairing the Advisory Board over the past six years.”
- Qualified candidates who wish to be considered for the upcoming vacancy must submit an application package no later than 23:59 Pacific Time on May 13, 2022.
- Those interested in applying are encouraged to first review the statutory requirements set out in the Supreme Court Act, and the qualifications and assessment criteria that will guide the Advisory Board in evaluating a candidate’s suitability.
- Candidates may demonstrate they satisfy the geographical requirement by reference to their bar membership, judicial appointment, or other relationship with the province of Ontario.
- The Supreme Court of Canada consists of nine judges, including a chief justice. They are all appointed by the Governor in Council, and must have been either a judge of a superior court or a member of at least 10 years’ standing of the bar of a province or territory.
- In 2016, the Government of Canada announced a new process for Supreme Court of Canada judicial appointments. It included the creation of an independent and non-partisan advisory board to identify qualified and suitable candidates for appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada.
- The Advisory Board was previously chaired by the Right Honourable Kim Campbell, former Prime Minister of Canada, in 2016, 2017, 2019, and 2021.
- The remaining members of the Advisory Board will be announced later this spring.
- The Advisory Board will now include an additional member nominated by the Indigenous Bar Association to advance the Minister of Justice’s mandate letter commitment to work with stakeholders to encourage more Indigenous Peoples to join the bench.
- Justice Moldaver will retire from the Supreme Court of Canada effective September 1, 2022.