Advocacy: Open letters

ICJ responds to concerns about interference with integrity and independence of the judiciary in Canada

The ICJ today replied to lawyers and legal academics regarding concerns expressed about statements by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice in Canada concerning Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin, in the context of the appointment of Justice Marc Nadon to the Supreme Court.

On 9 May 2014, the ICJ received expressions of concern from lawyers and legal academics in Canada. It wrote to the Prime Minister’s Office at the end of May seeking any information or views from the Government of Canada on this matter. In the absence of a reply from the Office of the Prime Minister, the ICJ set out its understanding of the relevant facts based on information provided to it and made publicly available.

The ICJ’s reply to the group of lawyers and legal academics describes relevant provisions of international human rights instruments on the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law and analyses the facts in relation to those international standards. The ICJ concluded that the criticisms of the Chief Justice by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice were not well-founded and amounted to an encroachment on the independence of the judiciary and the integrity of the Chief Justice.

Canada-JudicialIndependenceAndIntegrity-CIJL-OpenLetter-2014 (download ICJ analysis and conclusions in PDF)


July 23, 2014