The Canadian Superior Courts Judges Association
Welcome from the President’s Desk2018-08-30T00:14:44+00:00

Welcome from the President’s Desk

It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you to the new website of the Canadian Superior Courts Judges Association (CSCJA).  Founded in 1979, the CSCJA represents nearly all federally-appointed judges in Canada.  Its objectives include protecting and enhancing judicial independence, giving judges a forum where they can meet and exchange on issues of common interest, contributing to the education of judges and the improvement of the administration of justice, and dealing with issues concerning the review of judicial conduct.

The CSCJA is governed by a Council composed of approximately 50 members from all Canadian provinces and territories.  It meets at least once a year, at the general meeting.  The CSCJA also has a Board of Directors composed of 19 Council members.  The Board of Directors meets at least three times a year.

The Executive Committee of the CSCJA has five members. Monthly meetings are held by videoconference.  This year, I can count on the collaboration of Vice-President Thomas Heeney, of the Superior Court of Ontario, Treasurer Thomas Cyr, of the Court of Queen’s Bench of New Brunswick, Joel Groves, of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, and outgoing President Terry Clackson, of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta.

Moreover, the Association’s mandate could not be met but for its committees composed of judges from across the country.[1]  These judges volunteer many hours of their time in pursuing the objectives of the Association.  Their work is essential to the proper functioning of the CSCJA.

Judicial independence is at the heart of any democratic system, for it enables the judicial branch to fulfill its role in an impartial manner.  Judicial independence is a concept that is unfortunately not always well understood.  It belongs to the people, not to judges.  However, judges must ensure that judicial independence is not taken away or eroded, lest impartiality either be compromised or be perceived as compromised.  That is why one of the objectives of the CSCJA is to protect this independence by advocating against measures that would undermine it.  One of the means at our disposal is to participate in the work of the Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission, through which recommendations are made to the Minister of Justice every four years with respect to judicial salaries and benefits.  The next Commission will sit in 2020.  This year, the CSCJA will establish a committee that will guide us in this very important process.  Members of this committee will be asked to invest many hours of work for the benefit of all CSCJA members.

The CSCJA is also actively engaged with the Canadian Judicial Council in the complaints review process.  We champion an equitable process for our members, while collaborating so that this process protects the public interest and enables the maintenance of a competent and independent judiciary.

In addition, the CSCJA helps develop public education programs aimed at enhancing the public’s understanding of a judge’s role and of the judicial system as a whole.  The Association also contributes toward improving the administration of justice in Canada through the efforts of its members, notably its Access to Justice Committee.

On the international front, our members are deeply engaged, playing active leadership roles in organizations such as the International Association of Judges and the Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Association.  Membership in these organizations enables us to contribute actively to the promotion of the rule of law and judicial independence on a global scale.

I close by thanking you for visiting our website.  I hope it will give you a better understanding of the Canadian Superior Courts Judges Association and the efforts it makes on your behalf to maintain and enhance the role of judges in improving the administration of justice in Canada.  We are counting on your support.

Julie Dutil

President

2018/2019

[1] Access to Justice Committee, Compensation Committee, Communications Committee, Judicial Independence Committee, Insurance Committee, International Relations Committee, Judicial Support Program Committee, Judicial Conduct Review Committee, Membership Committee, Planning Committee, Education Committee, Retired Judges Committee, Technology Committee.

Julie Dutil