Judicial Review Delays Justice Nadon’s Parliamentary Hearing

A Parliamentary Committee hearing which was scheduled to question Justice Nadon on October 2, 2013 has been delayed amid new developments surfacing recently regarding the appointment of Justice Marc Nadon to the Supreme Court of Canada. Biographical details of Mr. Nadon can be read here. A recent op-ed by MP Irwin Cotler can be read here.

Mr. Nadon’s appointment has been challenged by Toronto-based lawyer Rocco Galati. A judicial review is  underway causing Nadon to step aside temporarily.

The case argues Nadon’s ineligibility to meet the requirements to become one of three mandated Québec justices on the country’s top court. Main arguments, arising from Sections 5 and 6 of the Supreme Court Act, RSC, 1985, c S-26, include:

(a) Nadon has not served Québec’s appeals or superior courts, and

(b) Candidates should belong to the Québec bar for at least ten years.

Justice Nadon has served as a judge at the Federal Court (8 years) and Federal Court of Appeal (12 years). Justice Minister Peter MacKay’s spokesperson defended Nadon’s appointment:

“Justice Nadon is qualified and we are certain he will serve the court with distinction,” adding further that:

“Constitutional experts agree that the Supreme Court Act allows for a sitting Federal Court judge to be appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada – this includes the opinion of former Supreme Court Justice Ian Binnie.”

Recently, former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Ian Binnie, C.C., Q.C., has published his own legal opinion, noting the endorsements of former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Louise Charron, C.C., and constitutional law expert Peter Hogg, C.C., Q.C.

Noteworthy documents:

Justice Binnie’s full legal opinion Re: Eligibility of Federal Court Judges for Appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Justice Binnie’s Appendices: Historical Evolution of Section 5/Section 6, Supreme Court of Canada Act.