What is expected of us
Since 1971, the mandate of the Canadian Judicial Council is to promote the efficiency, uniformity, and to improve the quality of judicial services in all superior courts in Canada.
The Council has the power and duty to ensure the proper conduct of federally appointed judges. In turn, judges must feel confident to make decisions without fear of reprisal. To achieve this dual objective, the Council has the power to investigate the conduct - and not the decisions - of federally appointed judges when a complaint is made against one of them. The Council can make recommendations for certain actions, including the removal of a judge.
The chief justices of each province and territory are responsible for the day-to-day administration of justice within their own jurisdictions. They meet at least twice a year as a full council to discuss justice issues. Under the chairmanship of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Council has set up various committees to manage issues concerning the Canadian judicial system. In addition, small working groups, some permanent, others created for specific needs, meet regularly to discuss issues related to the justice system.
Promote the ongoing training of judges
Canadians expect their judges to be educated, impartial, empathetic and honest. In order to maintain the highest standards, the Council and its partners offer judges a number of various courses. The training program is re-evaluated annually so that all judges can choose what will be most useful to them to serve the public in the best possible way.
Raising ever higher our rigorous ethical standards
Judges are the link between Canadians and their justice system. To earn their trust, they must adopt and maintain a high standard of conduct, both in their personal and professional lives. The Council ensures that it provides judges with the tools to guide them in making decisions that are fair, unbiased and inclusive of all those who appear before them.
Ensure the impartiality of judges for Canadians
Every Canadian citizen must be assured that the judge who hears them will make a decision based solely on their judgment, without outside influence. This is what is known as "judicial independence." Judges must be totally shielded from any improper attempt to influence their decisions. The Council ensures the impartiality of judges.
Build the trust of Canadians through our transparency
The purpose of all the work of the Canadian Judicial Council is to build and maintain the confidence of Canadians in their federally appointed judges. With a strong commitment to transparency, the Council communicates, acts, proposes, discusses and guides both the training of judges and the benchmarks that will guide them in their personal and professional conduct.
The Canadian Judicial Council is the entity created by Parliament where that Canadians can express their concerns about the conduct of federally appointed judges.
In considering complaints, the Council may propose various measures to restore public confidence. In some cases, this may even include a recommendation for removal.
Any Canadian can file a complaint against a federally appointed judge.