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Home > Provincial Court > Saskatchewan Judicial Council

The Saskatchewan Judicial Council

The Saskatchewan Judicial Council

The Saskatchewan Judicial Council is a body created under The Provincial Court Act, 1998. It is composed of the Chief Justice of Saskatchewan, the Chief Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench, the Chief Judge of the Provincial Court, the President of the Law Society of Saskatchewan, two additional judges, and two people who represent the community at large. It has two main purposes:

  • recommending candidates for appointment to Provincial Court, and
  • hearing complaints about the conduct of Provincial Court judges.

Judicial Appointment Process

To be eligible for an appointment as a Provincial Court judge, an individual must be a lawyer in good standing in one of the Canadian provinces. He or she must have at least 10 years of experience (apart from exceptional circumstances where the individual has appropriate legal or other judicial experience), and must apply to the Saskatchewan Judicial Council.

The Saskatchewan Judicial Council reviews and evaluates applications. Candidates receive a designation of "highly recommended", "recommended" or "not recommended". The list of Council's recommendations is provided to the Minister of Justice. When a new judge is required, the appointment is made from this list.

The Council does not advise candidates of the outcome of the evaluation. Applications are kept on file for three years. Candidates who wish to be considered after this period must reapply.

Criteria

The Judicial Council considers the following qualities when assessing candidates for appointment:

  • Educational achievement;
  • Strong legal skills;
  • Professional training and experience including mediation and alternative dispute resolution;
  • Breadth of view and maturity;
  • Tolerance, compassion and sympathy;
  • Capacity to grow and to develop intellectually and professionally;
  • Age and health;
  • Stability of character and judicial temperament;
  • Wisdom and common sense;
  • Professional reputation;
  • Good work ethic;
  • Sensitivity to cultural diversity;
  • Demonstrated dedication to public service;
  • Good listening, and oral and written communication skills; and
  • Good administrative and computer skills.

Applications

The application to be considered for an appointment to the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan consists of the following forms:

  1. Judicial Candidate Information Form
  2. Authorization for Disclosure of Information by RCMP
  3. Authorization for Disclosure of Information by the Law Society

Candidates must provide the names of 6 referees. (Letters of reference are no longer required.)

The Council may make discreet inquiries of a candidate's qualifications among individuals in the legal and civic communities. These inquiries are in addition to any inquiries made of the 6 referees provided by the candidate.

Completed forms should be sent to:

Saskatchewan Judicial Council
c/o Nadine Barnes, Executive Officer
2425 Victoria Ave.
Regina, SK   S4P 4W6
Tel: (306) 787-5409

Judicial Complaints

The Saskatchewan Judicial Council has the power to review and, where necessary, investigate complaints of incapacity or misconduct involving Provincial Court judges. Where appropriate, the Council may warn, reprimand, express disapproval, suspend or recommend to the Minister of Justice that a judge be removed from office.

Every year, the Council receives many complaints that it cannot deal with. The Council cannot:

  • overturn (or change) a judge's decision;
  • grant appeals or new trials;
  • compensate individuals;
  • look into general complaints about the courts or the judicial system as a whole;
  • investigate complaints about unnamed judges;
  • investigate complaints about lawyers or court employees; or
  • investigate complaints about federally appointed judges, that is, judges of the Court of Appeal or Court of Queen's Bench.

Complaints Process

NOTE: The Saskatchewan Judicial Council only deals with complaints about Provincial Court judges.  Matters regarding the conduct of federally appointed judges (in Saskatchewan, the Court of Appeal and the Court of Queen's Bench) should be referred to the Canadian Judicial Council.

All complaints are reviewed first by the Chairperson of the Council's Complaint Committee. He or she may forward the complaint to the Chief Judge and the judge in question for their response. The matter may also be referred to the whole Council and further inquiries may be made by an independent lawyer. If the complaint is sufficiently serious, the Council may arrange for a formal inquiry by a special committee.

The Council examines every complaint closely and as promptly as possible.

There is no deadline for filing complaints, however, it is preferable that complaints be made in a timely fashion. There is no fee for making a complaint. A person does not need to be represented by a lawyer to make a complaint, as the process is accessible to anyone regardless of their knowledge of the legal system or financial resources. The Council takes care to be fair to everyone involved.

Complaints to the Judicial Council must be in writing. A letter is sufficient, as there are no special forms required. The letter should include:

  • the name and address of the person making the complaint;
  • the judge, court, location, date and circumstances of the conduct; and
  • a detailed description of the alleged misconduct.

The letter should be sent to:

Saskatchewan Judicial Council
c/o Nadine Barnes, Executive Officer
2425 Victoria Avenue
Regina  SK  S4P 4W6
Email: nbarnes@sasklawcourts.ca

For more information, contact Nadine Barnes at (306) 787-5409.

Annual Report