Panel of MPs Selected to Replace Justice Deschamps

After ten years on the Supreme Court bench, Justice Marie Deschamps retired this past Tuesday.  This leaves a vacancy on the Supreme Court (the third in the past year).  According to this CTV News article, Deschamps replacement, which by law must be from Quebec (Deschamps was one of three Justices which are legally required to be from Quebec), will be appointed by the Governor General, on the advice of the Prime Minister, from a list of three unranked candidates to be provided to the Prime Minister’s office by a committee of five MPs.  The committee includes Conservative MPs MPs Jacques Gourde, Kerry-Lynne Findlay and Greg Rickford, New Democrat MP Francoise Boivin, and Liberal MP Stephane Dion.

Once the candidate is selected they will appear before a parliamentary committee as part of a public hearing.

The appointment will be Harper’s fifth (Justices Marshall Rothstein, Thomas Cromwell, Michael Moldaver, Andromache Karakatsanis).  There will be at least two more vacancies prior to the next federal election in October of 2015 as both Justices Morris Fish and Louis Lebel will reach mandatory retirement age.

This process is not constitutionally  mandated and there is little, if anything, that can be done to “block” an appointment.

This blog post was written by Toronto Criminal Lawyer Adam Goodman. Adam can be reached at 416-477-6793 or by email at adam@aglaw.ca.

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