thursday, 4 august of 2016

Canada Supreme Court Candidates Now Must Apply for the Job

When a vacancy opens on the U.S. Supreme Court, contenders for the empty seat are usually silent about their high-court aspirations while the White House vets and interviews candidates behind the scenes. If there’s any “campaigning,” it’s through private channels or conducted by surrogates.

In Canada, ambitious judges or lawyers who want to serve on the nation’s highest court are now encouraged to raise their hands and say: “pick me.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week announced a new system for choosing Canada’s Supreme Court judges.

“For the first time, any qualified Canadian lawyer or judge may apply for appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada through the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs,” his office said in a statement outlining the revamped process.

Reports Reuters:

There is a looming vacancy on the nine-member Supreme Court, with Justice Thomas Cromwell announcing he will retire in September, giving Trudeau his first chance to appoint a member of the court since becoming prime minister last November.

Under the current system, Supreme Court justices in Canada are effectively picked directly by the prime minister, who does not require parliamentary approval. In the United States, by contrast, Senate confirmation is required for U.S. Supreme Court appointments.

Now, an independent and non-partisan advisory board will review applicants and will submit a shortlist of three to five individuals for the prime minister’s consideration. Questionnaires filled out by applicants will all be made public.

Mr. Trudeau said the changes would help ensure a more transparent selection process.

(Published by The Wall Street Journal - August 3, 2016)

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