A Symposium on the Appointment, Discipline and Removal of Judges


  • ᠎ Canadian Bar Association




Members of panel at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Bar Association, 1971, suggest and analyze possible methods of improving the present process of selection and appointment as well as the disciplining and removal of judges. The Chairman, Mr. D. C. McDonald, outlines proposal for system of judicial appointments as suggested by Professor E. A. Tollefson in recent article. From Professor Tollefson's proposal Mr. McDonald extracts several "possibilities" including an intensive training course for judges upon their appointment, periodic refresher courses for all judges and the extension and upgrading of the "research staffs" available to the courts. The Chairman goes on to compare and contrast the disciplinary provisions that are applicable to Supreme, District and Provincial Court judges. Panel member G. M. Stirling, Q.C., who has served on the National Committee on the Judiciary of the Cana dian Bar Association, describes its function and method of operation and concludes that it is only first step in the process towards an improved method of selecting the most competent and highly qualified judges. Mr. Stirling suggests that modified form of the "Missouri plan" could be followed in Canada. The plan would involve the setting up in every province of standing independent commission "which would screen all qualified and available lawyers in the province and submit limited number of names to the Minister of Justice" from which the Minister would make his selection. Panel member, W. H. Hurlburt, Q.C., also endorses an "appropriate adapta tion" of the Missouri plan and goes on to suggest how the nominating commission might be constituted. With regard to the removal and disciplining of judges, Mr. Hurlburt approves of the concept of Judicial Council as set up by an amendment to the Judges Act (S.C. 1970-71-72 c. 55) but suggests that if the Council is to operate efficiently it must have an office and admin istrative staff. Panel member F. C. Muldoon, Q.C., submits that al