Conference: Judicial Appointment in a Free and Democratic Society


What:Conference: Judicial Appointment in a Free and Democratic Society: The Supreme Court of Canada
When:Monday, April 19, 2004 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Where: Alumni Hall, Victoria College, 73 Queen's Park Crescent East
Speakers:Professors Sujit Choudhry, Martin Friedland, Brian Langille, Kent Roach, Peter Russell, Lorne Sossin, Lorraine Weinrib, and Jacob Ziegel (University of Toronto), Mark Freiman (U of T Visiting Law Professor), Kate Malleson (London School of Economics), Judith Resnik (Yale), and George Thomson (National Judicial Institute)

Recently, Prime Minister Paul Martin and Justice Minister Irwin Cotler announced that The Standing Committee on Justice will study how judges are appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada. The impending retirement of Justices Louise Arbour and Frank Iacobucci has added an element of urgency to these deliberations.

To discuss this, the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto organized a conference, "Judicial Appointment in a Free and Democratic Society: The Supreme Court of Canada," on Monday, April 19, 2004.

Currently, there is no constitutional or full statutory provision for the method of appointment to our highest court. Attempts to provide a more formal and transparent framework for appointment in the past have failed.

This day-long conference will provide an opportunity to assess the current situation and discuss how a new system might reflect the stature and role of the Supreme Court in our free and democratic society. Panel sessions will include topics such as "The Current Appointments Process: Formal and Informal Dimensions", "Principles and Questions Underlying Reform of the Appointments Process", "Lessons to be learned from the United States, the United Kingdom and Beyond" and "Options for an Improved Appointments Process".