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Judges Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. J-1)

Full Document:  

Act current to 2024-05-28 and last amended on 2023-06-22. Previous Versions

PART IVConduct Review Process (continued)

DIVISION 1Complaints Concerning Judges (continued)

Review Panel (continued)

Marginal note:Referral to Council

 The review panel shall refer the complaint to the Council for the establishment of a full hearing panel if it determines that the judge’s removal from office could be justified.

Marginal note:Dismissal of complaint or action

 If the review panel does not refer the complaint to the Council under section 101, it may dismiss the complaint or take one or more of the following actions if it considers it appropriate to do so in the circumstances:

  • (a) issue a private or public expression of concern;

  • (b) issue a private or public warning;

  • (c) issue a private or public reprimand;

  • (d) order the judge to apologize, either privately or publicly, by whatever means the panel considers appropriate in the circumstances;

  • (e) order the judge to take specific measures, including attending counselling or a continuing education course;

  • (f) take any action that the panel considers to be equivalent to any of the actions referred to in paragraphs (a) to (e);

  • (g) with the consent of the judge, take any other action that the panel considers appropriate in the circumstances.

Marginal note:Notice of decision and reasons

  •  (1) The review panel shall give notice of its decision and the reasons for it to

    • (a) the judge who is the subject of the complaint;

    • (b) the chief justice of the court of which that judge is a member; and

    • (c) the Council.

  • Marginal note:Communication of dismissal

    (2) If the review panel dismisses the complaint, it shall inform the complainant in writing of its decision and the reasons for it.

  • Marginal note:Exclusion

    (3) The reasons shall not include information that is confidential or personal, or that is not in the public interest to disclose.

Marginal note:Request to establish panel

 If the review panel takes any action under section 102, the judge who is the subject of the complaint may, within 30 days after the day on which the review panel sends the judge a notice informing the judge of its decision, request that the Council establish a reduced hearing panel to review the complaint.

Marginal note:Provision of information

 If a reduced hearing panel or a full hearing panel is established in respect of a complaint that was before a review panel, the review panel shall provide to the presenting counsel in respect of the hearing panel all the information that was before it and the decision and reasons it provided under section 103.

Hearing Panels

Presenting Counsel

Marginal note:Designation

  •  (1) When it establishes a reduced hearing panel or a full hearing panel, the Council shall designate one of its members to designate a lawyer of at least 10 years’ standing at the bar of any province to act as presenting counsel in respect of the hearing panel.

  • Marginal note:Restriction

    (2) The member of the Council who designates the presenting counsel shall not be designated as any of the following:

    • (a) a member of the reduced hearing panel or the full hearing panel;

    • (b) a member of any appeal panel established in respect of any decision of the reduced hearing panel or the full hearing panel.

  • Marginal note:Replacement

    (3) The presenting counsel may at any time be replaced by another presenting counsel designated in accordance with subsection (1).

Marginal note:Role

 The role of the presenting counsel consists of preparing a statement of allegations against a judge who is the subject of a complaint before a reduced hearing panel or full hearing panel, as the case may be, and presenting evidence. The presenting counsel is also responsible for bringing an appeal and presenting arguments in an appeal.

Marginal note:Instructions

  •  (1) The presenting council shall take instructions from the Council member who designated them.

  • Marginal note:Absence or incapacity

    (2) In the event of the absence or incapacity of the Council member who designated the presenting counsel, the Council may designate another Council member to give instructions to the presenting counsel.

Marginal note:Standards of conduct

 In fulfilling their responsibilities, the presenting counsel shall conduct themselves in accordance with the standards and principles that govern the conduct of Crown prosecutors, with any modifications that may be necessary.

Reduced Hearing Panel

Marginal note:Establishment

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), on receipt of a request made under section 104, the Council shall establish a reduced hearing panel consisting of the following persons designated by it to review the complaint to which the request relates:

    • (a) a member of the Council;

    • (b) a judge named in the roster of judges; and

    • (c) a lawyer of at least 10 years’ standing at the bar of any province.

  • Marginal note:Direction to review new complaint

    (2) If a request is made under section 104 by a judge who has previously made a request under that section and the reduced hearing panel established in respect of the previous request has not yet made a decision in respect of the complaint to which the previous request relates, the Council may direct the reduced hearing panel to also review the new complaint.

Marginal note:Decision and reasons not considered

 In considering the complaint, the reduced hearing panel shall not consider the decision of the review panel that caused the judge who is the subject of the complaint to make the request under section 104 or the reasons for that decision.

Marginal note:Referral of complaint to Council

 The reduced hearing panel shall refer the complaint to the Council for the establishment of a full hearing panel if it determines that the removal from office of the judge who is the subject of the complaint could be justified.

Marginal note:Dismissal or actions

 If the reduced hearing panel does not refer the complaint to the Council under section 112, it may dismiss the complaint or take one or more of the actions referred to in paragraphs 102(a) to (g) if it considers it appropriate to do so in the circumstances.

Marginal note:Notice of decision and reasons

 The reduced hearing panel shall give notice of its decision and the reasons for it to

  • (a) the judge who is the subject of the complaint;

  • (b) the chief justice of the court of which that judge is a member;

  • (c) the Council; and

  • (d) the presenting counsel.

Marginal note:Decision and reasons made public

 The Council shall make public the reduced hearing panel’s decision and the reasons for it, as soon as feasible after receiving them, if the reduced hearing panel’s hearings were public. If they were not public, the Council shall make public as much of the decision and reasons as possible having regard to the reasons for holding the hearings, or part of them, in private.

Marginal note:Right of appeal

 The judge to whom the complaint relates and the presenting counsel may respectively, within 30 days after the day on which the reduced hearing panel sends them a notice of its decision, file with the Council a notice appealing the decision.

Full Hearing Panel

Marginal note:Establishment

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (3), on receipt of a referral of a complaint made under section 101 or 112, the Council shall establish a full hearing panel consisting of the following persons to review the complaint:

    • (a) two members of the Council who are designated by it;

    • (b) a judge named in the roster of judges who is designated by it;

    • (c) a person named in the roster of lay persons who is designated by it; and

    • (d) a lawyer who is a member of the bar of a province and who is designated in accordance with subsection (2).

  • Marginal note:Designation of lawyer

    (2) The lawyer referred to in paragraph (1)(d) is to be designated by the Minister. However, if the full hearing panel is being established as the result of a request by the Minister under section 148 or the Minister does not designate a lawyer within 30 days after the day on which the Minister receives written notice from the Council that a full hearing panel is to be established, the lawyer is to be designated by the Council.

  • Marginal note:Direction to review new complaint

    (3) If a complaint is referred to the Council under section 101 or 112, and a full hearing panel established to review a previous complaint or to consider a request made under section 148 involving the same judge has not yet made a decision in respect of the previous complaint or the request, the Council may direct the full hearing panel to also review the new complaint.

Marginal note:Decision and reasons not considered

 In considering the complaint, the full hearing panel shall not consider the decision of the review panel or reduced hearing panel, as the case may be, that led to the establishment of the full hearing panel, or the reasons for that decision.

Marginal note:Removal justified

 If the full hearing panel determines, on a balance of probabilities, that the judge’s removal from office is justified, it shall make a decision to that effect.

Marginal note:Dismissal or action

 If the full hearing panel determines, on a balance of probabilities, that the judge’s removal is not justified, it may dismiss the complaint or take one or more of the actions referred to in paragraphs 102(a) to (g) if the full hearing panel considers that it is appropriate to do so in the circumstances.

Marginal note:Notice of decision and reasons

 The full hearing panel shall give notice of its decision and the reasons for it to

  • (a) the judge who is the subject of the complaint;

  • (b) the chief justice of the court of which that judge is a member;

  • (c) the Council; and

  • (d) the presenting counsel.

Marginal note:Decision and reasons made public

 The Council shall make public the full hearing panel’s decision and the reasons for it, as soon as feasible after receiving the decision, if the full hearing panel’s hearings were public. If they were not public, the Council shall make public as much of the decision and reasons as possible having regard to the reasons for holding the hearings, or part of them, in private.

Marginal note:Right of appeal

 The judge who is the subject of the complaint and the presenting counsel may respectively, within 30 days after the day on which the full hearing panel sends them a notice of its decision, file with the Council a notice appealing the decision.

Rights of Judge

Marginal note:Rights

 The judge who is the subject of a complaint that is before a hearing panel has the right to be heard, to cross-examine witnesses and to adduce evidence, in person or by counsel.

Marginal note:Statement of allegation and notice

 The judge who is the subject of a complaint that is before a hearing panel is to be provided with a copy of the statement of allegations prepared by the presenting counsel and given reasonable notice of the subject matter and the date, time and place of the hearings.

 

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