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Prime Minister opens the process to select the next justice of the Supreme Court of Canada

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The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today opened the process to select the next justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Russell Brown. Applications from qualified candidates will be accepted until Friday, July 21, 2023.

A non-partisan Independent Advisory Board for Supreme Court of Canada Judicial Appointments will be given the task of identifying suitable candidates who are jurists of the highest calibre, functionally bilingual, and representative of the diversity of our country.

After the application period closes, the Advisory Board will review applications and submit a shortlist of highly qualified candidates to the Prime Minister for consideration.

Justice Russell Brown was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada in 2015. In recognition of the custom of regional representation, the process will be open to all qualified applicants from Western Canada and Northern Canada.


“The Supreme Court of Canada is the backbone of our country’s judicial system. Through our open, transparent, and independent appointment process, we are committed to ensuring the highest standards for Canada’s highest court.”

The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Quick Facts

  • Qualified candidates who wish to be considered for the upcoming vacancy must submit an application package no later than 23:59 Pacific Time on Friday, July 21, 2023.
  • Those interested in applying are encouraged to first review the statutory requirements set out in the Supreme Court Act, and the qualifications and assessment criteria that will guide the Advisory Board in evaluating a candidate’s suitability.
  • Candidates may demonstrate they satisfy the geographical requirement by reference to their bar membership, judicial appointment, or other relationship with Western Canada (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba) or Northern Canada (Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut).
  • The Supreme Court of Canada consists of nine judges, including a Chief Justice. They are all appointed by the Governor in Council and must have been either a judge of a superior court or a member of at least 10 years’ standing of the bar of a province or territory.
  • In 2016, the Government of Canada announced a new process for Supreme Court of Canada judicial appointments. It included the creation of an independent and non-partisan advisory board to identify qualified and suitable candidates for appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada.
  • The Chair and members of the Advisory Board will be announced in the coming weeks.
  • The Advisory Board was previously chaired by the Right Honourable Kim Campbell, former Prime Minister of Canada, in 2016, 2017, 2019, and 2021, and by the Honourable H. Wade MacLauchlan, former Premier of Prince Edward Island, in 2022.
  • The Advisory Board includes a member nominated by the Indigenous Bar Association to advance the Minister of Justice’s mandate letter commitment to work with stakeholders to encourage more Indigenous Peoples to join the bench.

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