Applications to replace recently retired Supreme Court Justice of Canada Russell Brown opened on Tuesday as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the start of the nomination process.
“The Supreme Court of Canada is the backbone of our country’s legal system,” Trudeau said said in a press release from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO)..
“Through our open, transparent and independent nomination process, we are committed to ensuring the highest standards for Canada’s highest court.”
Brown, who had been a Supreme Court justice since 2015, retired last week. The Canadian Judicial Council had investigated him on January 28 for misconduct during a confrontation involving Brown at an Arizona resort.
Accounts of the evening vary and Brown has denied wrongdoing, but he said his firing is in the best interest of the court.
“I have … decided that the public interest is best served by my retirement so that a replacement judge can take over in time for the busy fall term,” Brown said in his suicide note.
Applications to replace Brown open until July 21. The Independent Advisory Board for Supreme Court of Canada Judicial Appointments will review the submissions before sending a shortlist to the Prime Minister.
The PMO press release said the board will look for candidates “lawyers of the highest caliber, functionally bilingual and representative of our country’s diversity.”
Born and raised in British Columbia, Brown served on courts in western and northern Canada.
“In recognition of the practice of regional representation, the process is open to all qualified applicants from Western Canada and Northern Canada,” the PMO press release said.
At his end-of-session press conference last week, Chief Justice Richard Wagner criticized the government for its slowness in appointing judges, and called on Trudeau to speed up the nomination process.
The PMO said the chairman and members of the advisory board will be announced in the coming weeks.