Osgoode Hall Law School

Dean Sossin's Blog


An Open Letter on Transparency & Diversity in Judicial Appointments

November 21, 2012

 

The Honourable Robert Douglas Nicholson

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

284 Wellington Street

Ottawa, Ontario

K1A 0H8

&

Judicial Appointments Secretariat

Office of the Commissioner for

Federal Judicial Affairs Canada

99 Metcalfe Street, 8th floor

Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1E3

Dear Sirs:

As you know, recent public discussions and media coverage on the issue of diversity of Canada’s judiciary have raised important questions about the Federal appointments process. Such questions are difficult to address because statistical information about that process and the pool of candidates who apply for Federally appointed judicial positions is not made available.

While we appreciate the need for confidentiality in relation to specific individuals who may be considered for judicial appointment, the value of releasing aggregate demographic data on such applicants (including gender, linguistic and racial background) is clear.

We write to urge that either the Ministry or the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs release demographic data about the pool of applicants seeking federal judicial appointment. We believe such data will lead to greater engagement from the public, the profession and the academic community on the issue of how to ensure the Federal judiciary reflects the diversity of Canadian society. We believe making such data available enhances the transparency and accountability of the appointment process, and will lead to greater public confidence in the administration of justice in Canada.

Sincerely

Professor Sonia Lawrence & Dean and Professor Lorne Sossin 

2 to “An Open Letter on Transparency & Diversity in Judicial Appointments”

  1. Paul Jonathan Saguil says:

    While there has been no response from the Minister to this similar open letter (http://www.facl.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Coalition-Open-Letter-Call-for-Diversity-on-the-Canadian-Judiciary.pdf), Irwin Cotler (MP – Mount Royal), following a consultation with the authors, placed the following question on Notice Paper No. 191: http://parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Pub=NoticeOrder&Mode=1&Language=E&Parl=41&Ses=1&File=11.

    Here’s hoping for a substantive response from the government!

  2. Paul Jonathan Saguil says:

    updated link to Irwin Cotler’s question published on Dec. 3, 2012 (#1074 on Order Paper No. 190):

    http://parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Pub=NoticeOrder&Mode=1&Language=E&Parl=41&Ses=1&DocId=5901430&File=9



Leave a Reply




↑ Top