Consult widely

Lorne Sossin calls for a return to the 2005 model for Supreme Court consultations.

As originally developed during the Liberal government of Paul Martin, the screening committee involved members of Parliament, but also leaders in the legal community and representatives from non-partisan bodies within that community. The advisory committee developed in 2005 included an MP from each party, a retired judge and, from the region where the vacancy arises, a nominee of the provincial attorneys-general, a nominee of the law societies and two prominent Canadians who are neither lawyers nor judges.

… This hybrid model was far from perfect, but it signalled that, while the voices of elected parliamentarians matter, it was also vital that the selection of judges not be, and not be seen to be, simply an expression of majority will. The court’s mandate to be vigilant over minority rights and interests is a fundamental aspect of Canadian democracy. 

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