April 28, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada
Judicial independence is a core principle of Canadian democracy and is critical to a well-functioning justice system. This principle is reinforced by a knowledgeable and informed judiciary, which is key to maintaining public confidence in the justice system and the rule of law.
Today, the Right Honourable Richard Wagner, Chief Justice of Canada and Chairperson of the Canadian Judicial Council (CJC), together with the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) on judicial governance and judicial education.
The MOU on judicial governance recognizes that the principle of judicial independence includes the independence of the CJC in fulfilling its mandate to serve the public. This MOU also advances transparency by setting out key provisions relating to funding requests and the essential role of the CJC in the appointment of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs, who is responsible for supporting the CJC’s daily operations.
The MOU on judicial education establishes how the federal government and the CJC engage with one another on this important matter, while honouring constitutional boundaries required by judicial independence and the separation of powers. It recognizes that judicial education is an essential element of Canada’s justice system, that Canada is an international leader in this field, and that initiatives concerning judicial education must be undertaken in a manner that respects judicial independence and embodies transparency and accountability to the public.
The CJC, which is composed of the chief justices and associate chief justices of Canada’s superior courts, is a key pillar of the judicial branch of government. It protects the independence of the judicial system and upholds the highest standards in the conduct and ongoing education of federally appointed judges, all to the benefit of Canadians.