Members not exercising judicial functions when they sit on Canadian Judicial Council

Quebec judge allegedly captured on video in process of purchasing illicit substance


Applicant was Superior Court of Quebec judge . In 2012, complaint was filed against applicant when Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions informed Chief Justice that applicant had been identified by drug trafficker as former client . Applicant was allegedly captured on video in process of purchasing illicit substance. In 2014, Canadian Judicial Council (CJC) constituted inquiry committee in accordance with s. 63(4) of Judges Act (JA) to conduct full inquiry and while committee rejected all allegations against applicant, it tendered report to Minister about contradictions, inconsistencies and implausibilities in evidence during hearing . In 2016, second complaint was filed against applicant related to his lack of credibility in first inquiry, and second inquiry committee created report finding that applicant had become disabled from due execution of office by reason of misconduct related to first inquiry . Applicant brought applications for judicial review . CJC unsuccessfully brought motions to strike applications for judicial review on basis of lack of jurisdiction . CJC appealed . Appeal dismissed. Reports and recommendations of CJC and its committees were subject to judicial review. CJC and its committees were included in definition of “federal board, commission or other tribunal” in section 2 of Federal Courts Act and CJC was not subject to any exception . While some members were appointed under Constitution Act, they were not exercising judicial functions when they sit on CJC. Possibility of reviewing legality of CJC’s decisions contributed to maintenance of rule of law and supervisory power exercised by Federal Court over CJC played important public interest role.

Canada (Conseil de la magistrature) c. Girouard (2019), 2019 CarswellNat 2009, 2019 CAF 148, J.D. Denis Pelletier J.A., Yves de Montigny J.A., and Mary J.L. Gleason J.A. (F.C.A.); affirmed (2018), 2018 CarswellNat 5088, 2018 CarswellNat 5089, 2018 FC 865, 2018 CF 865, Simon Noël J. (F.C.).

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