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UPDATE: FACL’s Advocacy on Judicial Diversity

On May 7, 2014, FACL wrote to Justice Minister Peter MacKay raising concerns regarding the federal judicial appointment process and the lack of diversity among federally-appointed judges. As noted in a recent Globe and Mail article, only 3 of the past 200 new judges appointed are visible minorities. FACL requested a meeting with the Minister to discuss potential initiatives to improve the representation of minorities on the bench.  Minister MacKay turned down our request by letter of June 26, 2014, “due to a heavy schedule”.

Minister MacKay’s response is not surprising, considering his comments to the council of the Ontario Bar Association on June 13, 2014.  When asked about the lack of women and visible minorities on the bench, he remarked that women and visible minorities simply don’t apply for the job.  This comment was particularly interesting since the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs doesn’t track the racial origin of judicial applicants and appointees.

Following Minister MacKay’s disappointing response to our request to meet, FACL reached out to the Liberal and NDP Justice Critics in an effort to bring the issue of diversity within our judiciary to the forefront for discussion in the House of Commons and at the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.  FACL will continue to advocate for a more representative judiciary.

Please click on the links below to view the letters:

FACL Letter to Justice Minister Peter MacKay dated May 7, 2014

Response from Justice Minister Peter MacKay dated June 26, 2014

The letters have been posted under the Judicial and Legal Diversity in Canadasection of our Media page.

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