April 21st, 2024

Feds appeal decision requiring action on ‘appalling’ level of judicial vacancies

By The Canadian Press on March 18, 2024.

The federal government is challenging a court decision directing it to step up the pace of judicial appointments to address an "untenable" number of vacancies.The Peace Tower in Parliament Hill is pictured in morning light in Ottawa on Thursday, March 7, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA – The federal government is challenging a court decision directing it to step up the pace of judicial appointments to address an “untenable” number of vacancies.

In a notice of appeal, the government says the Federal Court overstepped its constitutionally limited role and acted without jurisdiction.

In a February decision, Federal Court Justice Henry Brown said constitutional conventional requires Ottawa to appoint a new judge within a reasonable time of a vacancy.

The government’s notice of appeal says Brown erred by recognizing a constitutional convention that does not exist.

The notice also says the court substituted its own view on the timeliness of federal judicial appointments for that of the executive branch.

The government is asking the Federal Court of Appeal to set aside the judgment and dismiss the underlying application brought by an Ottawa human-rights lawyer.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 18, 2024.

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