The work of the Council

The Council provides judges with a continuing education program and ethical principles. It is the body that citizens can turn to if they have questions about their judge's conduct or to file a complaint.

Offering professional development

All judges must uphold a high level of knowledge and a deep respect for justice. Continuing education has proven to be an effective tool for maintaining up-to-date knowledge and skills that reflect the values and way of life of a constantly changing society. The content of these training programs focuses as much on knowledge of the law as on encouraging a sense of empathy for Canada's diverse communities.

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Guiding judical conduct

Judges are the link between society and justice. They are expected to conduct themselves in an irreproachable manner, both in their professional and personal lives. Their behaviour must reflect a high level of ethics and integrity. The Council provides them with guidelines to help them achieve and maintain these high ethical and professional standards.

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Reviewing a complaint

Screening Officer Decisions (Matters closed at the first stage of the Review Process)

At the screening officer level, the Council publishes, in a new annual report, anonymized summaries of the types of complaints that were dismissed in the previous year. For convenience, the Annual Report can be found here:

Reviewing Member Decisions (Matters closed at the second stage of the Review Process)

At the reviewing member level, the Council publishes in its annual report anonymized summaries of the matters dismissed in the previous year. For convenience, the Annual Report can be found here:

Review Panel Decisions (Matters closed at the third stage of the Review Process)

At the review panel level, the Council publishes decisions on its website. In exceptional circumstances, the Chairperson of the Council’s Judicial Conduct Committee may determine that less - or more – information should be disclosed regarding a particular matter. Any such determination will be based on the relevant jurisprudence and, notably, in consideration of the following principles: transparency, the public interest, and judicial independence. Such decisions of the Chairperson, if any, will be referred to in the annual report. There are currently no review panel decisions to report.

Reduced or Full Hearing Panel Decisions (Matters closed at the fourth stage of the Review Process)

At the reduced or full hearing panel level, the Council publishes decisions on its website. There are currently no reduced or hearing panel decisions to report. 

Appeal Panel Decisions (Matters closed at the fifth stage of the Review Process)

At the appeal panel level, the Council publishes decisions on its website. Currently, there is one Review Panel Decision which you can access at the following link of the Review Panel Regarding the Honourable Kelly Gorman.pdf

Judicial Inquiries

Judicial Inquiries

Filling a complaint

If you disapprove of the conduct of a federally appointed judge or if you feel that you have been unfairly treated, you can file a complaint with the Canadian Judicial Council.

The complaint must be made in writing to the Council by letter or e-mail. You can also fill out the form below.

Who can make a complaint, and against whom?

  • Any person can file a complaint against a federally appointed judge.
  • The complaint must concern a serving Canadian federally appointed judge.
  • Federal court judges and provincial superior court judges may also be subject to a complaint.

What types of complaints are eligible?

  • Only complaints about judges' conduct are admissible, not those regarding their rulings.
  • A judge's conduct from the time before they were appointed may also be the subject of a review by the Council.

What we can't do:

  • The Council cannot deal with a complaint concerning any lower provincial courts.
  • The Council does not have the authority to change a judge's decision; in some cases, it is impossible to appeal, while in others, it is necessary to refer the matter to the Court of Appeal.
  • Complaints about administrative staff and how judicial services were provided to you in superior federal or provincial courts are not admissible.