I am writing to congratulate you on your re-appointment to the Independent Advisory Board for Supreme Court of Canada Judicial Appointments and to thank you for again agreeing to be the Chairperson of the Advisory Board. I am also writing to initiate the process that will culminate with the Independent Advisory Board providing me with advice on the selection of a potential candidate for the vacancy that will result from Chief Justice McLachlin’s impending retirement. Your term is for a period of three years. I am enclosing the Mandate of the Independent Advisory Board for Supreme Court of Canada Judicial Appointments and Terms and Conditions of Appointment of Members, which were annexed to the Order in Council establishing the Advisory Board (PC Number: 2016-0693).
The Advisory Board is composed of seven members: three members, at least two of whom are non-lawyers, nominated by the Minister of Justice; two practising members of the bar in good standing nominated by the Canadian Bar Association and the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, respectively; a legal scholar nominated by the Canadian Council of Law Deans; and a retired superior court judge nominated by the Canadian Judicial Council.
I ask that the Advisory Board develop and submit to me, by no later than October 23, 2017, a list of three to five qualified and functionally bilingual candidates from Western Canada (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba) and Northern Canada (Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon), for my consideration for this position. Candidates may demonstrate that they satisfy the geographical requirement by reference to their bar membership, judicial appointment, or other relationship with Western Canada or Northern Canada. In compiling this list, I ask that you observe the highest standards of impartiality, integrity and objectivity in your consideration of all candidates.
In evaluating all candidates, the Advisory Board will be guided by the qualifications set out in the Supreme Court Act as well as assessment criteria which I am enclosing with this letter.
The question of whether a candidate is functionally bilingual will be assessed by the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs in accordance with established and objective criteria. The Office of the Commissioner of Federal Judicial Affairs will contact you in the coming days to confirm next steps.
As you will appreciate, this process is sensitive and I expect that all information received in relation to candidates and in relation to the Independent Advisory Board discussions and proceedings will be kept strictly confidential during the process and after the Board has concluded its work.
Thank you for agreeing to be part of the Independent Advisory Board for Supreme Court of Canada Judicial Appointments. I look forward to receiving your recommendations.