Share Your Opinion on Superior Court Judges in Canada

Provincial court judges are appointed by the province but all provincial Supreme court and Appeal court judges in each province, along with all various federal court judges are appointed by the feds and therefore under the “jurisdiction” of the Canadian Judicial Council if you have a complaint about a provincal court Supreme, Appeal or other federal court judges behaviour (not decision).

Yes, there is a formal complaint process if you believe a judge has violated behavioural expectations.

Upholding the highest ethical standards


Judges are the link between Canadians and their justice system. To maintain this link of trust, judges must adopt and uphold the highest standards of personal and professional conduct. Staying informed, inclusive and free of prejudice is an ongoing process, that’s why we have provided them with guidelines to help them better understand the challenges faced by all and to make the right decisions.

Judicial Conduct

Conversely, a judge who has rendered a correct decision may have engaged in conduct unworthy of his or her profession. If you believe that, regardless of the judge’s decision, their conduct or attitude was significantly questionable, the Council may receive your complaint and address it.

A few years ago the Canadian Judicial Council did a report laying out the ethical duties and responsibilities of federally appointed judges. They are reviewing the report and planning an updated version and are requesting YOUR input.

Before we get there though please read this page on the CJC website:

Ottawa, 7 March 2019 –The Canadian Judicial Council is inviting the public to provide their views about the ethical obligations of superior court judges in Canada.

The time is right to embark on a review of Council’s Ethical Principles for Judges, a pivotal resource for the judiciary and Council’s most popular publication.

Council’s Ethical Principles for Judges provides guidance to judges and the public alike. While many principles remain fundamental, the conversation about the scope of ethical obligations continues. Judicial mediation, participation in community activities, case management, self-represented litigants, professional development are all areas that remain challenging. The use of the internet, particularly social media, is also an issue that raises new, important questions.

“As society evolves, so do the ethical issues that judges sometimes face,” noted Chief Justice Richard Wagner, Council’s Chairperson. “Since taking office, I have taken steps to enhance transparency about Council’s work and I am pleased to launch a public consultation exercise about Ethical Principles for Judges.”

All Canadians are invited to review a Background Paper regarding this important review and to complete the on-line survey about Ethical Principles and provide Council with any other relevant comments or submissions. Input received during this consultation exercise will greatly assist Council in ensuring revised Ethical Principles reflect public expectations about judges. 

Norman Sabourin
Executive Director and Senior General Counsel
(613) 288-1566 ext 313

PDF Report

FYI CJC Mandate Powers

Under the chairmanship of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Council has set up various committees to manage issues concerning the Canadian judicial system.

The chief justices of each province and territory are responsible for the day-to-day administration of justice within their own jurisdictions. They meet at least twice a year as a full council to discuss justice issues. In addition, small working groups, some permanent, others created for specific needs, meet regularly to discuss issues related to the justice system.

The Council has the power and duty to ensure the proper conduct of federally appointed judges. In turn, judges must feel confident to make decisions without fear of reprisal. To achieve this dual objective, the Council has the power to investigate the conduct – and not the decisions – of federally appointed judges when a complaint is made against one of them. The Council can make recommendations for certain actions, including the removal of a judge.

Take the time to complete the on-line survey about Ethical Principles and provide Council with any other relevant comments or submissions

Filing a Complaint Against A Federally Appointed Judge