Complaint review procedures
The Canadian Judicial Council was created in 1971 by Canada's Parliament with the goal to continually improve judicial services in Canada. To achieve this, the Council has authority over federally appointed judges and is the forum to which any Canadian can turn if they feel aggrieved by the misconduct of a judge.
Bill C-9 received Royal Assent on June 22, 2023
Bill C-9 received Royal Assent on June 22, 2023. All complaints received on or after June 22, 2023 will be treated under the new regime. Council’s new Review Procedures can be found here.
Parliament has given the Council the authority to investigate allegations of misconduct involving federally appointed judges, and it is the Council that acts as the link between Canadian citizens and the federal justice system and their judges.
You will find the complete complaint handling process in the document entitled Review Procedures.
You can also consult Council’s Policy on the Publications of Judicial Conduct Decisions here.
Below you will find an overview of the judicial conduct process as of June 2023 and prior.
Maintaining and enhancing the public’s confidence in the judiciary is a key pillar of respect for the Rule of Law. In an effort to increase transparency and accountability, recent amendments to the Judges Act and the Council’s updated Review Procedures (2023) provide for a role of a member of the public who is not a jurist, otherwise known as a lay person, in the review of complaints about judicial conduct. Lay persons participate and bring a valuable outside perspective in the consideration of such allegations that reach the Review Panels and Full Hearing Panels’ stages.
The Council will proceed shortly with the publication on its website of its roster of lay persons. Lay persons named to the roster remain on it for four years unless they request to be removed or, in the opinion of the Council, they cease to meet the conditions set out in the criteria below. When the four-year term ends, the person may be renamed to the roster.
In accordance with the Judges Act and the Council’s Review Procedures (2023), to be appointed to the roster of laypersons, an individual must:
- never have been admitted to the bar of a province or to the Chambre des notaires du Québec;
- never have worked as a paralegal in Canada;
- be a resident of Canada;
- have a university degree or an equivalent combination of experience and studies;
- possess knowledge of the Council's mandate;
- demonstrate the ability to work as part of a team to find common solutions to complex issues;
- have the ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing;
- be physically and mentally capable of serving on a panel to carry out its objectives (including: the availability to attend meetings, and to travel if necessary; the ability to read long and sometimes complex texts in a limited timeframe, etc);
- not have been convicted of an indictable offence, unless subsequently exempted from prosecution or pardoned under the Criminal Records Act;
- not have been disciplined by a professional association or organization with respect to good conduct.
As well, in naming lay persons to the roster, the Council shall take into account that the proceedings of panels may be in either or both official languages. The Council shall also name to the roster laypersons who reflect the diversity of the Canadian population.
Interested candidates shall apply by email to the Council at firstname.lastname@example.org. They should submit their CV and a brief description (between 200 and 500 words) demonstrating why they want to be part of the judicial conduct review process, and how they meet the above criteria. Please note that only candidates whose applications may be retained by the Council will be contacted.
In accordance with the Judges Act, the Council also establishes a roster of superior court judges to participate in the review of conduct matters. Superior court judges are named to the roster on the recommendation of the Canadian Superior Courts Judges Association. Council has set the number of superior court judges in the roster to be no more than 50.
Below is the current roster of superior court judges:
- The Honourable William Goodridge, N.L.
- The Honourable Valerie Marshall, N.L.
- The Honourable Alphonsus Faour, N.L.
- The Honourable Christa Brothers, N.S.
- The Honourable Pierre Muise, N.S.
- The Honourable John Bodurtha, N.S.
- The Honourable Kathleen Quigg, N.B.
- The Honourable Lucie LaVigne, N.B.
- The Honourable Bradley V. Green, N.B.
- The Honourable Ivan Robichaud, N.B.
- The Honourable Robert Dysart, N.B.
- The Honourable Marie-Claude Belanger-Richard, N.B.
- The Honourable Daniel Dumais, Que.
- The Honourable Denis Jacques, Que.
- The Honourable François Duprat, Que.
- The Honourable Gary D.D. Morrison, Que.
- The Honourable Guylaine Beaugé, Que.
- The Honourable Genevieve Cotnam, Que.
- The Honourable Louis Lacoursière, Que.
- The Honourable Serge Gaudet, Que.
- The Honourable Suzanne Courchesne, Que.
- The Honourable Jamie Trimble, Ont.
- The Honourable Gisele Miller, Ont.
- The Honourable Graeme Mew, Ont.
- The Honourable Anne Turner, Man.
- The Honourable Theodor Bock, Man.
- The Honourable Diana Cameron, Man.
- The Honourable Kaye Dunlop, Man.
- The Honourable Allisen Rothery, Sask.
- The Honourable Grant Currie, Sask.
- The Honourable Catherine Dawson, Sask.
- The Honourable Naheed Bardai , Sask.
- The Honourable Kent Davidson, Alta.
- The Honourable Kim Nixon, Alta.
- The Honourable John Little, Alta.
- The Honourable Bernie Ho, Alta.
- The Honourable Johanna Price, Alta.
- The Honourable Geoff Gaul, B.C.
- The Honourable Miriam Gropper, B.C.
- The Honourable Miriam Maisonville, B.C.
- The Honourable Sheri Donegan, B.C.
- The Honourable Andrew Mayer, B.C.
- The Honourable Ronald Tindale, B.C.
- The Honourable Nancy Key, P.E.I.
- The Honourable Jonathan Coady, P.E.I.
Under the Judges Act, the Canadian Judicial Council has the authority to investigate and review on complaints about the conduct – not the decisions – of federally appointed judges. Depending on the matter, the Council can recommend that the judge be removed from office. The Council publishes a report every year that summarizes the complaints received, and the decisions that were made.View previous complaints
Prior to Bill C-9, In some cases, an Inquiry Committee was established to investigate the complaint. This Committee then prepared a written report of its investigation, Click on the following tab to access the Inquiry Committee Decisions page.View inquiries