For the first time, any qualified Canadian lawyer or judge may apply for appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Now any qualified Canadian lawyer or judge may apply for appointment as Judge of the Supreme Court of Canada, thanks to landmark reform introduced by the Canadian Government. The Prime Minister of Canada last week, has announced a new process for appointing Supreme Court of Canada Justices that “is open, transparent, and sets a higher standard for accountability.”
An Advisory Board has been given the task of identifying suitable candidates who are jurists of the highest calibre, functionally bilingual, and representative of the diversity of Canada. Former Prime Minister of Canada, Kim Campbell has been appointed as the chairperson for Canada's Supreme Court Advisory Board.
In his letter to the Chairperson, the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: “In making your selection, I would ask that you consider the custom of regional representation on the Court as being one of the factors to be taken into consideration. In compiling this list, I ask that you observe the highest standards of impartiality, integrity and objectivity in your consideration of all candidates.”
Following is the brief account of the procedure under the new process. (Read about it in detail here.)
Advisory Council vis-à-vis NJAC
No SC judge or minister part of Advisory Board
The National Judicial Appointments Commission, which has been struck down by the Supreme Court of India, had proposed a Commission, which consisted of six members, (Three Supreme Court Judges, Law Minister and Two eminent members). But, the Advisory Board for Supreme Court of Canada Judicial Appointments does not contain a sitting Judge or a minister. Following are the members of Advisory board.
Application to the post of SC Judgeship
Concept of Applying for the post of Supreme Court Judges was alien to NJAC. According to the newly introduced process of Appointment in Canada, any candidate, who is a Lawyer or Judge, can apply to the post through the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs. Those who wish to be considered for appointment as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada must complete a Questionnaire prepared by three legal academic experts of the University of Ottawa's Public Law Group. Further, if a candidate is chosen as the nominee of the Prime Minister, the information, including personal information, contained in answers to this Questionnaire is to be disclosed to the public.