Gatineau, April 12 2024

Canadian Judicial Council reports on its Annual Spring Meeting

The Canadian Judicial Council held its annual spring meeting on April 10-11, in Gatineau, Quebec, to discuss a wide range of issues relating to the administration of justice.

“These meetings provide an opportunity for Canada’s Chief Justices and Associate Chief Justices to take stock of ways to maintain and promote public confidence in the judicial system,” noted Chief Justice Richard Wagner, Chairperson of the Council. “Canadians can be assured that the Council is working to reinforce our judicial system based on modern practices, in keeping with the rule of law and the principles of our democratic society”. 

To this end, Council members attended a session led by academics and experts on artificial intelligence, a topic in constant evolution, which has potential impacts on the courts. In light of the many recent appointments of chief justices, a special session was also held to discuss various aspects of the history, mandate, role and committees of the Council itself, which also served to foster a shared vision and common objectives amongst members. 

Members were pleased again to hear from the Honourable, Arif Virani, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and to exchange with him on matters of common interest. The Council also followed up with the Minister on the matter of timely judicial appointments.

Several committees reported on their work, including briefings on technology, judicial education, and how ensuring adequate funding for courts is a matter of respect for judicial independence. A discussion was held as well during the meeting on the matter of the health and well-being of judges. 

Council members also took stock of the work of the Judicial Conduct Committee, progress on implementation of the new Procedures published in October 2023, and the recent inaugural Report on the review of complaints against federally appointed judges. This report followed another one published last month, the Council’s annual Report on Judicial Education.

The Council will meet again next September, and will report on its initiatives and projects as they arise. 

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