Supreme Court: No justice case

Chief Justice of the Canadian Supreme Court, Richard Wagner.  Source: Radio Canada

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Chief Justice of the Canadian Supreme Court, Richard Wagner. Source: Radio Canada

With a seat available on the bench of Canada’s Supreme Court, the chief justice of Canada’s Supreme Court says he doesn’t believe the lack of First Nations representation affects his ability to make fair decisions.

“I wouldn’t say that,” said the presiding judge. Richard Wagner During an interview with CBC – New Brunswick about shortcomings in the Supreme Court’s ability to understand the First Nations perspective in its decisions.

“I think the court has shown, over the past 35 years, that we have a good understanding of Aboriginal community issues and that we are able to get things right if they need to be corrected based on the evidence presented,” Judge Wagner appreciated.

“Thus, although there was no Aboriginal judge in court, she was able to make important rulings in favor of recognition and reconciliation with indigenous peoples,” a quote from Richard Wagner.

According to Mr. Wagner, all Canadians should see themselves reflected in the state’s institutions, including its courts.

“I think the court should reflect society, and that means diversity,” he continues.

Which is why I have always supported diversity within the judiciary for many years. It is a matter of credibility. Wagner explained that it is about making sure that people will always maintain their belief in the justice system.

Judge Wagner’s statements come days after the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau He announced that his government had launched the process of selecting a new Supreme Court justice to fill the seat that would remain vacant when the next judge retired. Michael J Moldavier.

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According to information on the Prime Minister’s Office website, people interested in the position must submit an application by May 13.

The Supreme Court of Canada is made up of nine justices, including the Chief Justice.
They are all appointed by the Governor in Council and must either have been judges of a state high court or have been members of the bar in a county or territory for at least 10 years.

On Thursday, the US federal judge Ketanji Brown Jackson She was confirmed as a Justice of the United States Supreme Court, making history the first black woman to be elevated to the highest court in the United States.
In Canada, no First Nations justice has been appointed to the Supreme Court since its establishment in 1875.

Represents all legal orders in Canada

President of the Aboriginal Bar Association (ABA), Drew LafondIt is disappointing, he said, that Wagner does not believe the absence of a First Nations judge has affected the Supreme Court’s ability to properly adjudicate First Nations cases.

Mr. Lafond asked what Mr. Wagner would say if the same question were asked about the appointment of Quebec judges.

Under the constitution, he said, three of the nine seats on the Supreme Court must be filled by judges from Quebec.

“If, as we all ought, Canada is to be accepted as a multi-jurisdictional country consisting of original law, common law, and civil law, then the Supreme Court of Canada will have to manage the development of these laws and these injunctions,” says Drew Lafond.

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And the (Supreme) Court shall have, rightly, (judges) of these legal orders. So we have common law representatives who have been trained in this regard. Mr. Lafond noted that we have people with experience in civil law.

“What we need is someone who has a really deep and qualified knowledge of Aboriginal law. That is part of the reason why Aboriginals are not represented in the Supreme Court of Canada.”

Include a First Nations perspective

Naomi MetallicD., who is chair of the chancellor in Indigenous Law and Policy at Dalhousie University School of Law, believes it is time to appoint a First Nations justice to the Supreme Court, to ensure that cases are approached from a perspective that better understands Indigenous culture.

“Lawyers provide evidence, and that’s important,” Metallic said. But we all see evidence through our own lenses, right? We are all affected by our context and history. »

“Here in the Supreme Court, we have a panel of nine people (…) who talk to each other and educate each other (…) That’s why it’s so important to have diversity: you don’t know what you don’t know,” concluded Ms. Metallic.

Based on text from Aidan Cox, CBC.

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