Ottawa wants more diversity in the Canadian judiciary
The modification of a questionnaire used to guide judicial appointments should make it possible to increase diversity.
The Canadian government is making changes to the questionnaire that must be completed by judicial candidates federal, in order to be able to more easily appoint judges from diverse backgrounds.
The change is intended to incorporate language that is more respectful and inclusive for individuals who identify themselves as part of diversity, the Department of Justice said in a statement.
Voices have raised recently to deplore the lack of diversity within the Canadian judiciary.
These Federal Judicial Appointment Questionnaires are an essential tool used by advisory boards across the country to review nominations and submit their recommendations to the Minister of Justice.
However, the government encourages advisory committee members to strive to create candidate pools that are gender-balanced and reflective of Canada's diversity. The new questionnaire should make it easier to identify candidates from diverse backgrounds.
Former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould previously announced in 2016 a process to increase transparency, independence and diversity in the justice system, including a focus on selection. women and members of visible minorities.
The changes to the 2016 questionnaire were made after consultation with the Canadian Bar Association, the Canadian Judicial Council and the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs, says the Department of Justice.
These changes to the Questionnaire for Federal Judicial Appointments will allow the Judicial Advisory Committees, of which I rely on the recommendations, to take advantage of comprehensive and relevant information, writes Minister David Lametti.
At the same time, I hope these changes will further encourage candidates across Canada to pre promote their candidacy for appointment and support increased diversity within the judiciary.