MINISTER OF JUSTICE ANNOUNCES MEMBERS OF THE SUPREME COURT OF CANADA SELECTION PANEL

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OTTAWA, August 8, 2012 – The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the members of the Selection Panel to advise on filling the vacancy at the Supreme Court of Canada for the Quebec region arising as a result of the retirement of the Honourable Madam Justice Marie Deschamps.

“As an important national institution, the Supreme Court of Canada renders decisions that can have far-reaching implications affecting all Canadians,” said Minister Nicholson. “Our Government is committed to ensuring the legal excellence and merit that Canadians have all come to expect from our country’s highest court.”

The Selection Panel plays an important role in ensuring transparency and balance in the Supreme Court appointment process. It includes five Members of Parliament, including one from each recognized political party. The Members of this Selection Panel are:

  • Mr. Jacques Gourde, Conservative Party of Canada
  • Ms. Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, Conservative Party of Canada
  • Mr. Greg Rickford, Conservative Party of Canada
  • Ms. Francoise Boivin, New Democratic Party of Canada
  • The Hon. Stéphane Dion, Liberal Party of Canada

The mandate of the Selection Panel is to review and assess a list of qualified candidates put forward by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada in consultation with the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of Canada, the Chief Justice of Quebec, the Attorney General of Quebec and other prominent legal organizations, including the Barreau du Québec and Canadian Bar Association. The Minister has also received public input with respect to candidates who merit consideration.

In order to guide its activities and help ensure a full, balanced and objective assessment of the candidates, the Minister of Justice has indicated that the remainder of the selection process will proceed as follows:

  • The members of the Selection Panel will meet to review the résumés provided by each candidate as well as a number of reported judgments and publications.
  • The members of the Selection Panel will also consult with the Chief Justice of Canada, the Chief Justice of Quebec, the Attorney General of Quebec, the Barreau du Quebec, the Canadian Bar Association and, at their discretion, other prominent legal organizations.
  • All deliberations by panel members and consultations with third parties will be confidential.
  • The Selection Panel will provide an unranked list of three qualified candidates to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice for their consideration.
  • The Prime Minister and Minister of Justice will select a nominee from that list.
  • The nominee will appear at a public hearing of an ad hoc parliamentary committee, a process that was first established for the appointment of the Honourable Mr. Justice Marshall E. Rothstein in 2006 and repeated with the appointments of the Honourable Madam Justice Karakatsanis and the Honourable Mr. Justice Moldaver in 2011.

Further information on the appointment process is available in the Statement from the Prime Minister issued on May 18, 2012. An online version is accessible at: http://pm.gc.ca/eng/media.asp?category=3&featureId=6&pageId=49&id=4808

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