Irreproachable behaviour

A fundamental element in our justice system is the good conduct of our judges. They work every day to protect and enhance our trust by adopting irreproachable behaviour. The Council is committed to ensuring that this happens, and does everything possible to ensure that Canadians know that their judges are highly qualified, professional, and unaffected by any outside influence.

Judicial conduct

Thousands of decisions are rendered each year by federally appointed judges. These decisions encompass a range of topics, from simple procedural issues to issues that affect the very lives of the people who appear before them.

Despite strict ethical principles, judges are not infallible. If you believe that the decision rendered is incorrect, there are avenues of recourse to have a decision reviewed. Higher courts of appeal may consider such an application. On the other hand, making an error does not mean that the judge misbehaved.

Conversely, a judge who has rendered a correct decision may have engaged in conduct unworthy of his or her profession. If you believe that, regardless of the judge's decision, their conduct or attitude was significantly questionable, the Council may receive your complaint and address it.

Ethical Principles for judges

Over the past twenty years, Ethical Principles has provided valuable ethical guidance to federally appointed judges in a broad range of complex circumstances. It has become a crucial resource in the training provided to judges upon appointment, and forms part of ongoing discussions in professional development settings throughout a judge’s career.

Ethical Principles for judges

Judges Act

The Judges Act gives the CJC the right and duty to investigate the conduct of judges of the superior courts. In addition to its mission to improve the operations of judicial services and to ensure consistency in their quality, the Council has a duty to investigate the conduct of judges. The Council examines complaints and their handling, prepares a report and any recommendations, and implements the ensuing actions.