Canadian judges’ work extends beyond the courts. Our federally appointed judges are actively involved in developing various projects that aim to improve the justice system, their profession and, most importantly, provide better access to justice for all.
Access to justice
In Canada, we rely on an independent and impartial judicial system, free from outside influences and dictates. However, it would not be an ideal system if Canada's citizens did not have easy access to it. The Council works on an ongoing basis to promote this access.
A jury instruction is a guideline given by the judge to the jury about the law they will have to apply to the facts they have found to be true. The purpose of the instructions is to help the jury arrive at a verdict that follows the law of that jurisdiction. At all times, the judge’s instructions are to be given in terms a layperson can easily understand and contribute to the effective administration of justice and public confidence.
Representing yourself in court
The handbooks available here are intended as helpful guides for people who are navigating the justice system without a lawyer to prepare and present their legal case. The Council has created three handbooks that contain a wealth of information on family law, civil law and criminal law in Canada. The information is provided in an easy to understand format, with various worksheets, useful tips, explanations of legal terms and concrete examples to guide litigants throughout the legal process.
Ethical Principles for Judges
Over the past twenty years, Ethical Principles has provided valuable ethical guidance to federally appointed judges in a broad range of complex circumstances. It has become a crucial resource in the training provided to judges upon appointment, and forms part of ongoing discussions in professional development settings throughout a judge’s career.
50th anniversary publication of the Council
The Canadian Judicial Council celebrates 50 years of service to Canadians with this special publication.
Fresh ideas are sprouting
This section of the website is currently in development. We will be launching new projects soon.