The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today highlighted long-awaited amendments to the Judges Act introduced as part of Bill C-63, the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 2. These amendments would change the designation of “Senior Judge,” currently in use in the three territories, to “Chief Justice.” In addition, future chief justices of the territorial superior courts would be appointed through the same process as their provincial counterparts.
Senior judges of the territorial superior trial courts perform the same functions and receive the same compensation as their provincial counterparts, who are known as chief justices. The change recognizes the critical role that senior judges in the territorial superior trial courts play in delivering justice in the North.
“The impact of this amendment goes beyond titles – it is about fairness and a recognition that the powers and responsibilities are the same for all heads of courts, regardless of jurisdiction.”
– The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
- The three senior judges fulfil the same duties to the court and to the public as their provincial chief justice counterparts. They also receive the same remuneration for this work. The proposed amendments will harmonize the title of chief justice across all provinces and territories and remove distinctions between otherwise equivalent positions.
- The current senior judges will become the first chief justices of their respective courts.
- There are no additional costs associated with the proposed changes.
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For more information, media may contact:
Communications and Parliamentary Affairs Advisor
Office of the Minister of Justice
Department of Justice Canada
Susan Moorhead Mooney
Office of Hon. Larry Bagnell P.C., M.P.