Tuesday, February 06, 2007

More Crown Lawyers Appointed As Federal Judges

An article in the most recent issue of The Lawyers Weekly (vol. 26 no. 37) states that the Conservative government has been appointing a much higher proportion of Crown prosecutors or ex-government lawyers to the superior trial and appellate courts across Canada than its Liberal predecessor.

The article, entitled Conservatives put more Crowns on the federal Bench, explains that some 28 per cent of judicial appointments by the Conservatives have worked for the Crown. This compares to the Liberal record:

"Of the 354 lawyers appointed to the Bench from Jan. 1, 1997, to March 30, 2004, fewer than five per cent were criminal prosecutors and fewer than nine per cent overall were government litigators, according to the judicial appointments secretariat of the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs".

Interestingly, the defence bar is not that concerned as there is no sign that the government is picking biased judges despite controversy over recent changes to the composition of judicial appointments advisory committees which now include cops.

Criminal Lawyers’ Association vice-president Frank Addario is quoted as saying that it is "impossible to predict how people will behave, exclusively based on their professional background, once they become judges".

"What I think they are going to find out, to their disappointment, is that simply appointing Crown counsel is not going to get them the law-and-order agenda implemented (...) In order to find people who meet these ideological criteria ... they would have to engage in a completely politicized appointment process in which ideology becomes the litmus test, not professional qualifications".

Related Library Boy posts about judicial appointments include:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:40 pm


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