The Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (FACL) applauds the federal government for the changes they have announced to the judicial appointments process. Most notably, FACL is pleased that the government has committed to reconstituting the Judicial Advisory Committees (JACs) to ensure that they represent the diversity of Canada, and that the JACs will in turn be mandated with identifying a diverse range of judicial candidates. Additionally, FACL is greatly encouraged by the government’s decision to collect and publish statistics on judicial applicants and appointees. This will enhance the transparency of the judicial appointments process and hold the government accountable for its future judicial appointments.
FACL is a national organization with regional chapters FACL BC (based in Vancouver), FACL Western (Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg), FACL Ontario (Toronto), and FACL Atlantic (Halifax), as well as a nascent chapter FACL Quebec. A diverse coalition of Pan-Asian Canadian legal professionals from across the country, FACL seeks to promote equity, justice, and opportunities for Asian Canadian legal professionals as well as the wider community. Calling for judicial diversity has long been a cornerstone of FACL’s advocacy work. In our ten-year history, we have persistently and consistently called on the government to increase the diversity of its appointments, and to collect data as well as implement changes to the appointment process that would enhance both transparency and accountability.
We are instilled with some confidence that the next round of appointments in 2017 will have an increased presence of racialized appointments. Having a judiciary that is reflective of the population it serves is critical to maintaining public confidence in the administration of justice. It is also essential to optimizing the quality of justice that is delivered. Judicial decision-making is necessarily informed by the judge’s own background and experience. The collective wisdom of the judiciary thus depends in part on the breadth of experience and the diversity of backgrounds on the bench.
The federal government’s changes represent an important step in the right direction. While there is more work to do, FACL is encouraged. FACL looks forward to continued dialogue with the government on how best to build and maintain judiciary that all Canadians can be proud of.\
For more information, please feel free to contact Gerald Chan (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Lai-King Hum (email@example.com).
The PDF of this press release may be found here: Press Statement