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Judges Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. J-1)

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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)

Hearing Panels (continued)

Salaries and Annuities

Marginal note:Time in judicial office and salary

  •  (1) For the purposes of calculating an annuity under Part I, if a full hearing panel decides that the removal from office of a judge who is the subject of a complaint is justified, the day after the day on which the judge is given notice of the full hearing panel’s decision is the day to be used to determine the number of years the judge has been in judicial office and the salary annexed to the office held by the judge at the time of his or her resignation, removal or attaining the age of retirement unless

    • (a) the decision is set aside by a decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, or by the decision of an appeal panel if the appeal panel’s decision is final;

    • (b) the Minister’s response under subsection 140(1) provides that no action is to be taken to remove the judge from office; or

    • (c) the matter of removal of the judge from office is put to one or both Houses of Parliament and is rejected by either of them.

  • Marginal note:Contributions toward annuities

    (2) No reservations are to be made under section 50 from the judge’s salary in respect of the period that begins on the day after the day on which the judge is given notice of the full hearing panel’s decision, unless one of paragraphs (1)(a) to (c) applies, in which case the judge shall contribute an amount equal to the amount that would have been reserved from the judge’s salary had subsection (1) not applied.

  • Marginal note:Salary increases

    (3) For greater certainty, nothing in subsection (1) is to be construed as removing from the judge any entitlement to a salary increase that takes effect on or after the day on which the judge is given notice of the full hearing panel’s decision.

General

Marginal note:Powers

 A hearing panel has all the powers vested in a superior court of the province in which the judge who is the subject of the complaint resides, including

  • (a) the power to summon before it any witness and require them to give evidence on oath, orally or in writing or on solemn affirmation if they are entitled to affirm in civil matters, and to produce any documents and evidence that it considers necessary; and

  • (b) the power to enforce the attendance of any witness and compel them to give evidence.

Marginal note:Rules of evidence

 A hearing panel is not bound by any legal or technical rules of evidence and may receive and base a decision on evidence presented in its hearings that it considers credible or trustworthy in the circumstances of the case.

Marginal note:Hearings public

  •  (1) A hearing panel’s hearings are to be public, but it may hold all or any part of its hearings in private if it considers doing so to be in the public interest.

  • Marginal note:Prohibition of publication

    (2) A hearing panel may prohibit the publication of any information or documents placed before it, if it is of the opinion that such a publication is not in the public interest.

Appeals

Appeal Panel

Marginal note:Establishment

 On receipt of a notice of appeal filed under section 116 or 123, the Council shall establish an appeal panel consisting of the following persons designated by it:

  • (a) three members of the Council; and

  • (b) two judges named in the roster of judges.

Marginal note:Power

 The appeal panel has all the powers vested in the court of appeal of the province in which the judge who is the subject of the complaint resides. It may, among other things, reverse, vary or affirm any decision of the reduced hearing panel or full hearing panel, as the case may be, and make any decision the hearing panel could have made.

Marginal note:Hearings public

  •  (1) The appeal panel’s hearings are to be public, but it may conduct all or any part of its hearings in private if it considers doing so to be in the public interest.

  • Marginal note:Prohibition of publication

    (2) The appeal panel may prohibit the publication of any information or documents placed before it if it is of the opinion that such a publication is not in the public interest.

Marginal note:Right to make submissions

 The judge who is the subject of the appeal and the presenting counsel are each entitled to make oral and written submissions to the appeal panel.

Marginal note:Nature of appeal

 The appeal is to be heard on the basis of the record of the hearing panel whose decision was appealed and on any submissions made by the judge who is the subject of the appeal and the presenting counsel. The appeal panel may, in exceptional circumstances, admit additional evidence or testimony if, in its opinion, it is essential in the interests of justice to do so.

Marginal note:Notice of decision and reasons

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

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

  • (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 appeal panel’s decision and the reasons for it, as soon as feasible after receiving them, if the appeal 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.

Supreme Court of Canada

Marginal note:Notice of application for leave to appeal

 The judge who is the subject of a decision of an appeal panel and the presenting counsel may respectively, within 30 days after the day on which the appeal panel sends them a notice of its decision, file a notice of application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Marginal note:Right of attorneys general

 If leave to appeal is granted by the Supreme Court of Canada, the Attorney General of Canada and the attorney general of a province may intervene in the appeal.

Report to Minister

Marginal note:Report with recommendation

  •  (1) If a full hearing panel is established in respect of a complaint, the full hearing panel shall, as soon as feasible after the earliest of the following, provide to the Minister a report setting out a recommendation, consistent with the final decision in respect of the complaint, as to whether or not the judge who is the subject of the complaint should be removed from office:

    • (a) the judge and the presenting counsel have both waived their rights under section 123 or 137,

    • (b) the time limit for exercising those rights has expired, and

    • (c) the Supreme Court of Canada has not granted leave to appeal or, if it has, it has made a decision in respect of the appeal panel’s decision.

  • Marginal note:Decisions and reasons

    (2) The report must also set out the full hearing panel’s decision and any decision of the appeal panel and the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as the reasons, if any, for those decisions.

  • Marginal note:Copy of report

    (3) The full hearing panel shall as soon as feasible give a copy of the report to the judge, the presenting counsel and the Council.

  • Marginal note:Report made public

    (4) The Council shall make public as much of the report as it considers appropriate taking into account the extent to which the decisions and reasons set out in the report were made public.

  • Marginal note:Absence or incapacity

    (5) In the event of the absence or incapacity of all three judges of the full hearing panel, the Council shall designate one of its members to assist the other members of the full hearing panel in preparing the report or, if the others are also absent or incapacitated, to provide the report.

Marginal note:Minister’s response

  •  (1) The Minister shall respond publicly to the report.

  • Marginal note:Information

    (2) For the purpose of responding publicly, the Minister may seek information from the full hearing panel on any matter that the Minister considers necessary.

  • Marginal note:Obligation to provide information

    (3) The full hearing panel shall provide the judge who is the subject of the report and the presenting counsel with any information that it provides to the Minister.

  • Marginal note:Absence or incapacity

    (4) In the event of the absence or incapacity of all three judges of the full hearing panel, the Council shall designate one of its members to assist the other members of the full hearing panel in providing the information to the Minister or, if the others are also absent or incapacitated, to provide the information.

General

Ineligibility

Marginal note:Ineligibility

  •  (1) A member of the Council and a judge named in the roster of judges is not eligible to be designated

    • (a) as a reviewing member under section 92, or as a member of any panel established under this Division, in respect of any complaint involving a judge of the court of which they are a member; or

    • (b) more than once under this Division in respect of the same complaint or the same judge.

  • Marginal note:Subsections 86(2) and (3)

    (2) A member of the Council who is referred to in subsection 86(2) or (3) whose belief led to the Council making a complaint in respect of a judge or to an anonymous complaint being dealt with is not eligible to be designated, in their capacity as a member of the Council or in any other capacity, as a reviewing member under section 92 or as a member of any panel established under this Division, in respect of the complaint.

Designation

Marginal note:Designation from roster of judges

 The Council may designate a judge named in the roster of judges to be a member of a panel established under section 98, 110, 117 or 130 instead of designating a member of the Council as the section in question requires.

Immunity

Marginal note:Immunity

 A screening officer, a reviewing member or a member of a panel established under this Division shall have the same immunity as a judge of a superior court.

Financial Provisions

Marginal note:Regulations

 The Governor in Council may make regulations respecting the fees, allowances and expenses to be paid or reimbursed under section 146.

Marginal note:Guidelines

  •  (1) Subject to the regulations, the Commissioner shall make guidelines respecting the fees, allowances and expenses to be paid or reimbursed under section 146.

  • Marginal note:Incorporation by reference

    (2) The guidelines may incorporate by reference any policy, guideline or directive of the Treasury Board or any federal department regarding fees, allowances or expenses, as it is amended from time to time.

  • Marginal note:Obligation to justify differences

    (3) If an amount provided for in the guidelines made under subsection (1) differs from the amount provided for in Treasury Board directives regarding fees, allowances and expenses, the Commissioner shall make the reasons for the difference available to the public unless the difference is attributable solely to compliance with the regulations.

Marginal note:Amounts payable out of C.R.F.

  •  (1) Subject to the regulations made under section 144 and the guidelines made under subsection 145(1), there shall be paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund all amounts payable in respect of the following:

    • (a) the expenses incurred by members of the Council and judges named in the roster of judges in the course of carrying out their duties under this Division or Division 2;

    • (b) the expenses incurred by and the allowances payable to panel members, other than judges, in the course of carrying out their duties under this Division or Division 2;

    • (c) the fees of and the expenses incurred by presenting counsel in the course of carrying out their duties under this Division or Division 2;

    • (d) subject to subsection (2), the fees of and the expenses incurred by lawyers representing judges who are the subject of a complaint under this Division or Division 2;

    • (e) the fees and expenses of lawyers and experts engaged by panels established under this Division or Division 2; and

    • (f) the expenses incidental to the conduct of meetings and hearings under this Division or Division 2, including the renting of rooms, the recording and transcription of proceedings, translation services and security.

  • Marginal note:Restriction

    (2) Fees and expenses of lawyers representing judges may be paid only in respect of proceedings under this Division or Division 2 or in respect of appeals to the Supreme Court of Canada relating to those proceedings. For greater certainty, no payments to lawyers representing judges are to be made in respect of any judicial review of any decision made under this Division or Division 2.

 

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