Qualification of a member of the Federal Court with 10 years of experience as a member of the Québec Bar to be appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada

Ottawa, Ontario
30 September 2013

Attached to this Backgrounder is a legal opinion provided by former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Ian Binnie, C.C., Q.C., affirming the qualification of a judge from the Federal Court system with 10 years of prior experience as a member of the Québec Bar to be appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada from Québec.

We have also consulted with another eminent retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Honourable Louise Charron, C.C. Mrs. Charron reviewed and expressed support for the view taken by the Honourable Ian Binnie in his opinion. She believes that “there is no question that a judge of the federal court is eligible for an appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada as a representative of the Province of Québec, as long as he or she has been a member of the Québec Bar for at least 10 years.”

Constitutional expert Professor Peter W. Hogg, C.C., Q.C., has also reviewed Mr. Binnie’s opinion and has said he is “in complete agreement with the Honourable Ian Binnie’s conclusion that a person who has been a member of the Québec Bar for 10 years and is now sitting as a Federal Court judge is eligible to be appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada from Québec.”

A copy of Mr. Binnie’s legal opinion and accompanying appendix can be found at: http://pm.gc.ca/grfx/docs/20130930_Binnie_cp.pdf and http://pm.gc.ca/grfx/docs/20130930_Appendicies_cp.pdf  

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