Deliberate Disregard: Judicial Appointments Under the Harper Government
26 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2014
Date Written: June 19, 2014
This essay examines the apparent disregard of diversity in appointments by the federal government to the Canadian bench. It begins with an examination of the principal academic arguments supporting the claim that Canadians are entitled to a representative bench. After explaining the current federal appointments process, I examine patterns in three identity characteristics of recent appointees (gender, racialization, and professional experience). These patterns suggest, at the least, a failure to pay attention to, and at the most, a deliberate disregard of diversity which is, in my view, inconsistent with constitutional anti-discrimination norms, as well as with both the written and unwritten constitutional guarantee of an independent and impartial judiciary.
Keywords: judicial appointments in Canada, equality, gender, race, constitutional law
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