Chief justice, justice minister, sign accord to strengthen Supreme Court

Agreement recognizes high court’s independence and bolsters executive-judiciary relations

Chief justice, justice minister, sign accord to strengthen Supreme Court
Supreme Court of Canada

Richard Wagner, Chief Justice of Canada, and David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, have signed an accord to recognize and reinforce the independence of the Supreme Court of Canada.

According to a statement released by the Supreme Court, this is an important milestone in the evolution of the court and will help safeguard public trust in one of the most vital national institutions.

In the accord, the chief justice and the justice minister expressed commitment to the independence of the judiciary, which is a fundamental aspect of democracy, and to maintain public confidence in the justice system and the rule of law.

The agreement’s operative provisions set the framework for a collaborative and productive relationship between the chief justice and the minister, through key provisions relating to the handling of funding requests, contracting authority and the appointment of the Court’s senior administrative officeholders.

“The Accord exemplifies Canada’s commitment to safeguarding its institutions and protecting democratic values such as judicial independence,” Chief Justice Wagner said in the statement. “A judiciary that is independent — and seen to be independent— benefits all Canadians.”

“The accord is an important milestone in the institutional relationship between the executive branch of government and our nation’s highest court,” Lametti said. “It is a strong affirmation by the government and the Chief Justice of Canada that a just and democratic society requires, at its heart, a strong commitment to judicial independence and respect for the rule of law.”

The accord is an agreement between the Chief Justice of Canada and the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada that is effective on the date of its signature: July 22, 2019. It can be found on the Supreme Court of Canada website here.

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