Department of Justice Canada Minister's Transition Book
Justice Related Organizations
Canadian Judicial Council
Rt. Hon. Richard Wagner, P.C.
Executive Director and Senior General Counsel
The Canadian Judicial Council (CJC) comprises all superior court chief justices and associate chief justices, as well as the senior judges of the Nunavut Court of Justice, the Supreme Court of the Yukon Territory and the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories (39 members). It was created to promote efficiency, uniformity, and accountability, and to improve the quality of judicial service in the superior courts of Canada.
A major statutory responsibility is receiving and considering complaints respecting the superior court judiciary and, where it carries out a formal inquiry or investigation, reporting its findings to the Minister of Justice.
The CJC plays a major role in judicial education through approval of educational seminars for funding under the Judges Act. It also takes positions on other matters affecting the judiciary, such as compensation.
The full Council meets twice a year, usually in the spring and fall. The Minister is always invited to address both meetings
Canadian Superior Courts Judges Association
Court of Appeal of Quebec
The Canadian Superior Courts Judges Association (CSCJA) is a voluntary association composed mainly of puisne judges, although some chief justices are also members. The main purpose of the CSCJA is to speak on behalf of the superior court judiciary with respect to judicial compensation and related issues, whether it be to the Minister of Justice, the Department of Justice, or the government as a whole.
The CSCJA conducts its activities through 15 committees whose members come from across the country to address issues such as compensation, the conduct of judges, access to justice, public legal education, and independence of the judiciary. The Association also plays an active role in two international groups: the Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association, currently chaired by a Australian judge, the Honourable Chief Judge John Lowndes, and the International Association of Judges, where Justice Robert A. Blair, of the Ontario Court of Appeal, represents the CSCJA.
The CSCJA and the CJC have historically presented a joint position to the Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission (the Quadrennial Commission), which conducts an inquiry into the adequacy of judicial compensation every four years. The fifth Quadrennial Commission, chaired by Gil Rémillard, reported on June 30, 2016, and recommended the status quo for most judicial salaries, and minor compensation changes for certain former and current chief justices and the prothonotaries of the Federal Court. In its response of October 31, 2016, the Government accepted all recommendations of the Commission. The response was implemented as part of the final stage of legislation implementing Budget 2017, which was brought into force June 22, 2017. The next Commission will start on June 1, 2020.
The CSCJA meets annually, usually in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Canadian Bar Association. An invitation to speak at a luncheon or dinner is usually extended to the Minister of Justice in connection with this meeting.
Canadian Council of Chief Judges
The position of Executive Director rotates among provincial chief judges.
The Canadian Council of Chief Judges (CCCJ) is a non-statutory body, whose membership comprises provincial and territorial chief judges and associate chief judges. While the organization may have similar interests to those of the Canadian Association of Provincial Court Judges, the members, as the judicial managers of the provincial courts, have distinct objectives and perspectives. Past issues of interest to the CCCJ have included court structures, funding for judicial education, and consultations on criminal law reform.
Canadian Association of Provincial Court Judges
Judge Robert David Gorin
Territorial Court of the Northwest Territories
The Canadian Association of Provincial Court Judges (CAPCJ) is a voluntary association of provincially appointed judges. It is concerned mainly with promoting the interests of its members, such as working conditions, status, and continuing legal education.
The Department of Justice consults regularly with CAPCJ on the development of major criminal law initiatives and on the implementation of programs that have implications for the provincial courts. The CAPCJ receives annual core funding from the Department of Justice, and the Minister of Justice usually meets annually with the CAPCJ.
National Judicial Institute
Rt. Hon. Richard Wagner, P.C.
The federal government and the Department of Justice have been strong supporters of the concept of a national centre for training federally and provincially appointed judges. This support led to the establishment of the National Judicial Institute (NJI), which began operations in 1988 and is funded jointly by federal, provincial and territorial governments.
The NJI offers and coordinates judicial education services to all levels of judges across the country. It is an independent corporation, managed by a Board of Governors that is made up of two provincial court judges and three federally appointed judges. The NJI undertakes the coordination of the involvement of Canadian judges in providing judicial education internationally. Its International Cooperation Group has managed judicial reform projects that extend over several years in numerous countries, including Australia, Chile, China, Ethiopia, Ghana, Jamaica, Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Peru, Rwanda, Russia and Scotland.
Legal Profession Organizations
Canadian Bar Association
Chief Executive Officer
Cheryl Farrow, CAE
The Canadian Bar Association (CBA) is a professional, voluntary organization that represents more than 37,000 lawyers, judges, notaries, law teachers and law students from across Canada.
Currently, the CBA is particularly concerned about issues relating to the rule of law, access to justice, funding for legal aid, the independence of the legal profession, the judicial appointment process, Unified Family Courts, and the security certificates/Special Advocate regime under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
The CBA has expressed an ongoing interest in providing input to the Department of Justice during the early stages of development of legislative proposals, in particular those relating to criminal law and youth justice.
Federation of Law Societies of Canada
Ross F. Earnshaw
Chief Executive Officer
Jonathan G. Herman
The Federation of Law Societies of Canada (FLSC) is the national coordinating body of Canada’s 14 law societies, which are mandated by provincial and territorial statutes to regulate the country’s 100,000 lawyers and Quebec’s 4,000 notaries in the public interest.
Currently, issues of interest to the FLSC include access to the legal profession, lawyer mobility, solicitor-client privilege, law office searches, legal aid, access to justice, the appointment of judges, the Special Advocate regime under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, mandatory continuing professional development (accreditation), international trade agreements and legal services, and international development projects.
Barreau du Québec
Me Paul-Matthieu Grondin
Me Lise Tremblay
The Barreau du Québec has more than 24,000 members. It is active in providing input on various legislative initiatives, amendments to the Criminal Code and related federal statutes.
Chambre des notaires du Québec
Me François Bibeau
The Chambre des notaires du Québec supervises the training and admission of candidates to the notarial profession in Quebec. There are approximately 4,000 notaries in Quebec.
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Law Enforcement Organizations
Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police
Vancouver Police Department
The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) is dedicated to the support and promotion of efficient law enforcement and to the protection and security of the Canadian public. Its membership totals approximately 1,000 police chiefs throughout Canada, 400 of whom are active members. CACP committees liaise with various levels of government and departments having legislative and executive responsibility in law and policing. CACP initiatives are reported on at the annual CACP conference.
Currently, the CACP has a particular interest in issues such as lawful access to encrypted electronic media, non-returnable warrants, DNA legislation and organized crime law reform.
Canadian Association of Police Governance
Mary Anne Silverthorn
The Canadian Association of Police Governance (CAPG) is a non‑profit, nationally incorporated organization dedicated to representing the views of municipal police governing authorities across Canada. The CAPG represents approximately 75 percent of municipal police boards and commissions across Canada that together employ in excess of 35,000 police personnel (approximately three-quarters of the municipal police personnel in Canada). Their mission is to work collaboratively and proactively to improve police governance in Canada and to bring about change that will enhance public safety for all Canadians.
Currently, the CAPG is interested in examining how the Department of Justice can work with police and policing associations in moving forward on tackling crime. Specifically, the CAPG is concerned about issues such as illegal firearms and first response to terror events. The CAPG has also called for a comprehensive Canadian cyber-crime strategy.
Canadian Police Association
The Canadian Police Association (CPA) is the national voice for 52,000 police personnel across Canada. Membership includes police personnel serving in 160 police services across the country, members of the RCMP, railway police and First Nations police personnel.
Broad issues of interest to the CPA that relate to the Department of Justice include judicial advisory committee membership, conditional sentences, mandatory minimum penalties, dangerous offenders, drug-impaired driving, drug crime, firearms offences, non-returnable warrants, cyber-crime, youth crime and victims.
Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime
Susheel Gupta, LL.B.
The Canadian Resource Centre of Victims of Crime (CRCVC) is a national organization that advocates for victims and survivors of violent crime in Canada. It lobbies for victims’ rights by presenting the interests and perspectives of victims of crime to governments at all levels.
Association québécoise Plaidoyer-Victimes
The Association Québécoise Plaidoyer-Victimes (AQPV) is a provincial organization that promotes and defends the rights and interests of victims of crime in Quebec. The organization also coordinates activities between stakeholders, peer counselling networks and community organizations with regard to victims and victimization.
Association des familles de personnes assassinées ou disparues
The Association des familles de personnes assassinées ou disparues (AFPAD) is a non-profit organization based in Quebec. The Association acts on behalf of over 500 families of murdered or missing people. It provides such services as:
- psychological support and guidance on dealing with the media;
- legal and administrative support;
- conferences with legal advisors, criminologists, magistrates, lawyers, police officers, psychologists, reporters;
- congresses with magistrates, lawyers, and psychologists; and
- support for families at preliminary hearings and legal proceedings.
Canadian Crime Victim Foundation
The Canadian Crime Victim Foundation (CCVF) is a federally registered charitable organization that supports, empowers and provides resources to victims of crime. It works in cooperation and partnership with public based services and programs to educate and provide support to police officers and front line staff on victims’ needs.
Ending Violence Association of BC
The Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA BC) is a charitable, non-profit organization that provides services to over 200 anti-violence programs across British Columbia. It coordinates and supports the work of victim-serving and other anti-violence programs in BC through the provision of issue-based consultation and analysis, resource development, training, research and education.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Chief Executive Officer
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada) is a charitable, grassroots organization that is committed to stopping impaired driving. It offers support services to victims, and provides awareness about the dangers of driving while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs.
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