Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Judicial Independence

All judges, whether appointed to provincial or federal positions are entitled to judicial independence in Canada.    The source of such independence for federal appointments is in part from the text of the Constitution Act, 1867 (s. 96) but more generally, arises from unwritten, but binding norms adopted by the Constitution (Provincial Judges Reference [1997] 3 SCR 3).

Judicial independence requires security of tenure, financial security and administrative independence.

Security of tenure means, at base, that a judge serves until a fixed retirement date so long as the judge is able and does not misconduct themselves in office.  A judge must never fear to rule one way or another because of the chance of being removed.

Financial security means judges must be compensated so as to be removed from business or financial entanglements that might otherwise affect the office.  Basically, judges must be paid a decent and sufficient professional income.

Administrative independence requires that judges have power over the administrative decisions bearing directly on the exercise of their office.

No comments: