The Government of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of British Columbia
June 17, 2016 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada
The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointments:
The Honourable Marguerite H. Church, a judge of the Provincial Court of British Columbia in Williams Lake, is appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Prince George to replace Mr. Justice J.W. Williams, who was transferred to Vancouver to replace Madam Justice D.A. Kloegman, who resigned effective December 31, 2014.
Maria Morellato, Q.C., a partner with Mandell Pinder LLP in Vancouver, is appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver to replace Madam Justice L.A. Fenlon, who was elevated to the Court of Appeal on June 19, 2015.
These appointments are effective immediately.
- The Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs administers the advisory committees, representing each province and territory, which assess the qualifications of the lawyers who apply for federal judicial appointments.
- Consultations in both the legal and non-legal community are undertaken by the committee in respect of each applicant.
- Lawyer candidates are notified of the date they were assessed by the committee, and assessments are valid for a period of two years from that date. During that time, a "recommended" candidate remains on the list of those available for judicial appointment by the Minister of Justice.
- Federal judicial appointments are made by the Governor General acting on the advice of the federal Cabinet. A recommendation for appointment is made to Cabinet by the Minister of Justice with respect to the appointment of puisne judges, and by the Prime Minister with respect to the appointment of Chief Justices and Associate Chief Justices.
- The Government is considering ways to strengthen the judicial appointments process, guided by the same principles of openness, transparency, and merit as reflected in the Government's new process applicable to Governor in Counsel (GIC) appointments more generally. The Government is committed to ensuring that Canada's judiciary truly reflects the face of Canada.
- Reforms of the judicial appointments process will take time and require appropriate consultations, including with the judiciary, the legal community and the general public.
“We know that our country is stronger, and our judicial system more effective, when our judges reflect Canada's diversity. As promised, we have filled the urgent judicial vacancies by drawing on a list of recommended candidates who are of the highest calibre and who are as diverse as Canada. I have every confidence in the judgment of these appointees and in their commitment - and ability - to deliver just outcomes for Canadians. Moving forward, we will continue to search for ways to strengthen the judicial appointment process so that it is even more open, transparent, and merit-based.”
The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Justice
Department of Justice
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