Judges Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. J-1)

Act current to 2017-07-03 and last amended on 2017-06-22. Previous Versions

Marginal note:Objects of Council
  •  (1) The objects of the Council are to promote efficiency and uniformity, and to improve the quality of judicial service, in superior courts.

  • Marginal note:Powers of Council

    (2) In furtherance of its objects, the Council may

    • (a) establish conferences of chief justices and associate chief justices;

    • (b) establish seminars for the continuing education of judges;

    • (c) make the inquiries and the investigation of complaints or allegations described in section 63; and

    • (d) make the inquiries described in section 69.

  • R.S., 1985, c. J-1, s. 60;
  • 1992, c. 51, s. 26;
  • 2002, c. 8, s. 105.
Marginal note:Meetings of Council
  •  (1) The Council shall meet at least once a year.

  • Marginal note:Work of Council

    (2) Subject to this Act, the work of the Council shall be carried on in such manner as the Council may direct.

  • Marginal note:By-laws

    (3) The Council may make by-laws

    • (a) respecting the calling of meetings of the Council;

    • (b) respecting the conduct of business at meetings of the Council, including the fixing of quorums for such meetings, the establishment of committees of the Council and the delegation of duties to any such committees; and

    • (c) respecting the conduct of inquiries and investigations described in section 63.

  • R.S., c. J-1, s. 30;
  • R.S., c. 16(2nd Supp.), s. 10;
  • 1976-77, c. 25, s. 15.
Marginal note:Employment of counsel and assistants

 The Council may engage the services of such persons as it deems necessary for carrying out its objects and duties, and also the services of counsel to aid and assist the Council in the conduct of any inquiry or investigation described in section 63.

  • R.S., c. 16(2nd Supp.), s. 10;
  • 1976-77, c. 25, ss. 15, 16;
  • 1980-81-82-83, c. 157, ss. 16, 17(F).

Inquiries concerning Judges

Marginal note:Inquiries
  •  (1) The Council shall, at the request of the Minister or the attorney general of a province, commence an inquiry as to whether a judge of a superior court should be removed from office for any of the reasons set out in paragraphs 65(2)(a) to (d).

  • Marginal note:Investigations

    (2) The Council may investigate any complaint or allegation made in respect of a judge of a superior court.

  • Marginal note:Inquiry Committee

    (3) The Council may, for the purpose of conducting an inquiry or investigation under this section, designate one or more of its members who, together with such members, if any, of the bar of a province, having at least ten years standing, as may be designated by the Minister, shall constitute an Inquiry Committee.

  • Marginal note:Powers of Council or Inquiry Committee

    (4) The Council or an Inquiry Committee in making an inquiry or investigation under this section shall be deemed to be a superior court and shall have

    • (a) power to summon before it any person or witness and to require him or her to give evidence on oath, orally or in writing or on solemn affirmation if the person or witness is entitled to affirm in civil matters, and to produce such documents and evidence as it deems requisite to the full investigation of the matter into which it is inquiring; and

    • (b) the same power to enforce the attendance of any person or witness and to compel the person or witness to give evidence as is vested in any superior court of the province in which the inquiry or investigation is being conducted.

  • Marginal note:Prohibition of information relating to inquiry, etc.

    (5) The Council may prohibit the publication of any information or documents placed before it in connection with, or arising out of, an inquiry or investigation under this section when it is of the opinion that the publication is not in the public interest.

  • Marginal note:Inquiries may be public or private

    (6) An inquiry or investigation under this section may be held in public or in private, unless the Minister requires that it be held in public.

  • R.S., 1985, c. J-1, s. 63;
  • 1992, c. 51, s. 27;
  • 2002, c. 8, s. 106.
Marginal note:Notice of hearing

 A judge in respect of whom an inquiry or investigation under section 63 is to be made shall be given reasonable notice of the subject-matter of the inquiry or investigation and of the time and place of any hearing thereof and shall be afforded an opportunity, in person or by counsel, of being heard at the hearing, of cross-examining witnesses and of adducing evidence on his or her own behalf.

  • R.S., 1985, c. J-1, s. 64;
  • 2002, c. 8, s. 111(E).

Report and Recommendations

Marginal note:Report of Council
  •  (1) After an inquiry or investigation under section 63 has been completed, the Council shall report its conclusions and submit the record of the inquiry or investigation to the Minister.

  • Marginal note:Recommendation to Minister

    (2) Where, in the opinion of the Council, the judge in respect of whom an inquiry or investigation has been made has become incapacitated or disabled from the due execution of the office of judge by reason of

    • (a) age or infirmity,

    • (b) having been guilty of misconduct,

    • (c) having failed in the due execution of that office, or

    • (d) having been placed, by his or her conduct or otherwise, in a position incompatible with the due execution of that office,

    the Council, in its report to the Minister under subsection (1), may recommend that the judge be removed from office.

  • R.S., 1985, c. J-1, s. 65;
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (2nd Supp.), s. 5;
  • 2002, c. 8, s. 111(E).

Effect of Inquiry

  •  (1) [Repealed, R.S., 1985, c. 27 (2nd Supp.), s. 6]

  • Marginal note:Leave of absence with salary

    (2) The Governor in Council may grant leave of absence to any judge found, pursuant to subsection 65(2), to be incapacitated or disabled, for such period as the Governor in Council, in view of all the circumstances of the case, may consider just or appropriate, and if leave of absence is granted the salary of the judge shall continue to be paid during the period of leave of absence so granted.

  • Marginal note:Annuity to judge who resigns

    (3) The Governor in Council may grant to any judge found to be incapacitated or disabled, if the judge resigns, the annuity that the Governor in Council might have granted the judge if the judge had resigned at the time when the finding was made by the Governor in Council.

  • R.S., 1985, c. J-1, s. 66;
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (2nd Supp.), s. 6.

 [Repealed, R.S., 1985, c. 16 (3rd Supp.), s. 5]

 [Repealed, R.S., 1985, c. 16 (3rd Supp.), s. 6]

Inquiries concerning Other Persons

Marginal note:Further inquiries
  •  (1) The Council shall, at the request of the Minister, commence an inquiry to establish whether a person appointed pursuant to an enactment of Parliament to hold office during good behaviour other than

    should be removed from office for any of the reasons set out in paragraphs 65(2)(a) to (d).

  • Marginal note:Applicable provisions

    (2) Subsections 63(3) to (6), sections 64 and 65 and subsection 66(2) apply, with such modifications as the circumstances require, to inquiries under this section.

  • Marginal note:Removal from office

    (3) The Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the Minister, after receipt of a report described in subsection 65(1) in relation to an inquiry under this section in connection with a person who may be removed from office by the Governor in Council other than on an address of the Senate or House of Commons or on a joint address of the Senate and House of Commons, by order, remove the person from office.

  • R.S., 1985, c. J-1, s. 69;
  • 1992, c. 1, s. 144(F), c. 51, s. 28;
  • 1993, c. 34, s. 89;
  • 2002, c. 8, s. 107;
  • 2014, c. 39, s. 326.
 
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