Federal Court decision released in the case of Mr Justice Cosgrove

OTTAWA, 27 October 2005 - The Federal Court released a decision on 26 October 2005 regarding an application made by Mr Justice Cosgrove on the validity of subsection 63(1) of the Judges Act.  That provision requires the Canadian Judicial Council to convene an Inquiry Committee into the conduct of a judge if requested to do so by an attorney general of a province or by the Minister of Justice of Canada. 

The Court’s decision is available on the Council’s website at: http://www.cjc-ccm.gc.ca/cmslib/general/conduct_inq_cosgrove_DecisionsFCC_20051026_en.pdf

Madam Justice Mactavish, in her reasons for the decision, ruled that subsection 63(1) “represents an unjustifiable interference with the independence of the judiciary” and is therefore invalid in regard to the power of a provincial attorney general to require that an inquiry be held into the conduct of a judge.

The decision of the Federal Court may be subject to an appeal.  No further steps will be taken at this time.

The Canadian Judicial Council is composed of the chief justices and associate chief justices of Canada’s superior courts.  The Council’s web site address is: http://www.cjc-ccm.gc.ca. 

Contact: Norman Sabourin, Executive Director and General Counsel, 613-288-1566