Provincial Court Judges are appointed by the Saskatchewan Government. Judges for the Court of King’s Bench, Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan and the Supreme Court of Canada are appointed by the Government of Canada.
An individual must generally have at least ten years of experience as a lawyer before they can be appointed. Their qualifications will be carefully screened by a Judicial Advisory Committee. Both advisory committees and the pool of possible candidates they select should be gender–balanced and reflect the diversity of the members of the jurisdiction, including Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and members of minority communities.
The Judicial Advisory Committee will consider factors such as…
After careful consideration, an advisory committee will determine whether to recommend an individual to the government for possible appointment.
Once appointed, judges receive special training in different areas of the law such as criminal law, civil law, family law, constitutional law, and youth justice. They will also have access to ongoing education on matters such as ethics, impartiality, gender equality, sexual violence, cultural sensitivity, and science in the courtroom.
This idea of judicial independence is a vital part of Canada’s justice system. It means that judges are not influenced by government or other interests and instead make decisions based on the rule of law.
Judges salaries are paid by the government but they remain independent. Judges are not government employees and cannot be fired by the government – they are appointed until retirement.
Judges are required to be neutral. This means that they must treat everyone equally and hear cases with an open mind. Judicial neutrality is a vital part of Canada’s justice system. Judges are not allowed to say or do anything that would make people think they favour one position over another. For example they cannot own a business or speak publicly on matters that might come before the court.
Complaints about judges are heard by special judicial councils that can investigate the matter and, where appropriate, take disciplinary measures to address the matter.