Department of Justice Canada Minister's Transition Book

Organizations in the Justice Portfolio

In addition to the Department of Justice, the portfolio of the Minister of Justice includes the following independent organizations:

  • Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada
  • Canadian Human Rights Commission
  • Canadian Human Rights Tribunal
  • Courts Administration Service
  • Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs
  • Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions
  • Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime
  • Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada
  • Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
  • Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada
  • Special Advisor on Criminal Conviction Review

Each organization described in this section has a distinct mandate. They present a variety of organizational structures and have specific relationships to the Minister and links to the Department. The organizations prepare individual expenditure plans and accounts of accomplishments as part of the annual Estimates. Their Departmental Expenditure Plans are approved by the Minister of Justice and tabled in the House of Commons by the President of the Treasury Board on behalf of the Minister of Justice.

Portfolio management

Portfolio management is intended to ensure that all organizations within a minister's portfolio work effectively together. It is a tool for promoting coherence and a common sense of purpose in implementing government policies and programs. However, while the Minister may have some policy responsibilities for certain agencies (for example, legislation concerning the Canadian Human Rights Commission) these agencies, to varying degrees, have an arm's length relationship with the Minister and the Department. The most pronounced example of this arm's length relationship is with respect to the courts (Supreme Court of Canada, Federal Court of Appeal, Federal Court, Tax Court of Canada, and the Court Martial Appeal Court), for which the principle of judicial independence is constitutionally entrenched.

For these organizations, the Minister acts as the primary channel through which they access funding and report their activities to Parliament. The Minister plays no role in the day-to-day management of the organizations. Tools for managing the portfolio can include meetings between the Minister and an agency head and between departmental officials and agency management or staff. In some cases, the Department and agencies within a portfolio also share certain common services and cooperate to meet their common reporting

requirements (such as making submissions to Treasury Board and reporting to Parliament). However, the appropriateness of such collaboration is determined by the degree of independence the organization enjoys from the Minister.

Minister's role in portfolio management

In most cases, it is the Minister who determines the extent and nature of relationships with agencies within the portfolio.  However, in the case of the Justice portfolio, certain unique considerations apply as follows:

  • Several of the organizations in the portfolio are courts. The principle of independence of the courts from the executive in matters relating to adjudication is constitutionally entrenched.
  • Several organizations exercise quasi-judicial functions and are required to maintain their independence.
  • There is a need for an arm's length relationship with certain organizations given that litigators from the Department of Justice appear before the courts and may also appear before other agencies in the portfolio. For example, counsel for the Department of Justice is frequently called upon to litigate human rights complaints before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, to which the Canadian Human Rights Commission is often also a party.

Judicial Appointments

The Minister of Justice is responsible for making recommendations to the Governor in Council for the appointment of judges to the superior courts (other than that of the chief justices, for which the Prime Minister has responsibility). The Minister is supported in this function by the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs (William A. Brooks, Commissioner, see biography at page 8-26) and by the Minister's Judicial Affairs Advisor.

Appointments are made to the following courts:

  • Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada
  • Federal Court of Appeal and the Federal Court
  • Supreme Court of Canada
  • Tax Court of Canada

Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada

Chief Administrator

Marie-France Pelletier

Appointed October 2014

     [Information was severed in accordance with the Access to Information Act. s.19(1)]     

Biography

The Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada, which was established with the coming into force on November 1, 2014, of the Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada Act, is responsible for providing support services to 11 federal administrative tribunals by way of a single, integrated organization.

The supported tribunals are:

  • Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal
  • Canada Industrial Relations Board
  • Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board
  • Canadian Human Rights Tribunal
  • Canadian International Trade Tribunal
  • Competition Tribunal
  • Public Servants Disclosure Protection Tribunal
  • Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board
  • Social Security Tribunal
  • Specific Claims Tribunal Canada
  • Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada

The support services include: corporate services (e.g. common functions of human resources, information technology, financial services, accommodations and communications); registry services; and core mandate services (e.g. research, analysis, legal and other case-specific work).

Canadian Human Rights Commission

Chief Commissioner

Marie-Claude Landry

Appointed March 2015

Marie-Claude Landry

Biography

The Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) was established in 1977 to administer the Canadian Human Rights Act, which promotes equality of opportunity and protects individuals from discrimination based on race, nationality, ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability or conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted.

The Commission also has a mandate under the Employment Equity Act, which seeks to achieve equality in the workplace and to correct disadvantageous conditions of employment experienced by women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities.

The Canadian Human Rights Act and the Employment Equity Act apply to federal departments and agencies, Crown corporations, chartered banks, private sector companies in the fields of interprovincial transportation and communications, and other organizations under federal jurisdiction.

The CHRC aims to discourage and reduce discriminatory practices by: dealing with complaints of discrimination on the prohibited grounds enumerated in the Canadian Human Rights Act; conducting audits of federal departments and agencies and federally regulated private companies to ensure compliance with the Employment Equity Act; fostering discrimination prevention and alternative dispute resolution, especially mediation; conducting research and information programs; and working closely with other levels of government, employers, service providers and community organizations to promote human rights principles.

The Canadian Human Rights Act provides for the Commission to be composed of a Chief Commissioner, a Deputy Chief Commissioner and not less than three or more than six members to be appointed by the Governor in Council. The Chief Commissioner and the Deputy Chief Commissioner are full-time members appointed for a term not exceeding seven years; part-time members are appointed for a term not exceeding three years.

Canadian Human Rights Tribunal

Chairperson

David Thomas

Appointed September 2014

     [Information was severed in accordance with the Access to Information Act. s.19(1)]     

Biography

The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal is a quasi-judicial body that inquires into complaints of discrimination referred to it by the Canadian Human Rights Commission and decides whether the conduct alleged in the complaint is a discriminatory practice within the meaning of the Canadian Human Rights Act. The Tribunal can also review directions and assessments made under the Employment Equity Act.

The Tribunal operates pursuant to the Canadian Human Rights Act, which aims to give effect to the principle that all individuals should have an equal opportunity to live their lives unhindered by discriminatory practices based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex (including pregnancy), marital status, family status, sexual orientation, disability (including drug dependency) or pardoned criminal conviction.

The discriminatory practices outlined in the Act are designed to protect individuals from discrimination, in particular, in employment, and in the provision of goods, services, facilities, and commercial or residential premises. The Act applies to federally regulated employers and service providers, including: federal government departments and agencies, federal Crown corporations, chartered banks, airlines, shipping and inter-provincial trucking companies, telecommunications and broadcasting organizations, and First Nations governments and federally regulated Aboriginal organizations.

Like a court, the Tribunal must be—and must be seen to be— impartial. It renders decisions that are subject to review by the Federal Court at the request of any of the parties. However, unlike a court, the Tribunal provides an informal setting where parties can present their case without adhering to complex rules of evidence and procedure. If the parties are willing, the Tribunal also offers mediation services to allow parties the opportunity to settle their dispute with the assistance of a Tribunal Member.

Support for the Members rests with the CHRT Secretariat of the ATSSC, which plans and arranges hearings, provides legal research, and acts as a liaison between the parties and Tribunal Members.

Courts Administration Service

Chief Administrator

Daniel Gosselin

Appointed January 2011

As per OIC signed June 18, 2015, he was re-appointed for a five-year term, effective January 31, 2016

     [Information was severed in accordance with the Access to Information Act. s.19(1)]     

Biography

The Courts Administration Service (CAS), established in 2003 by the Courts Administration Service Act, is responsible for providing administrative services to the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada, and the Tax Court of Canada (the Courts). The purpose of the CAS is to:

  • facilitate coordination and cooperation among the Courts for the purpose of ensuring effective and efficient provision of administrative services;
  • enhance judicial independence by placing administrative services at arm's length from the Government of Canada and by affirming the roles of chief justices and judges in the management of the Courts; and
  • enhance accountability for the use of public money in support of court administration while safeguarding the independence of the judiciary.
  • Subsections 7(1), (2), (3) and (4) of the Courts Administration Service Act set out the powers, duties and functions of the Chief Administrator of the CAS as follows:
  • The Chief Administrator is the CAS' chief executive officer and has supervision over and direction of its work and staff.
  • The Chief Administrator has all the powers necessary for the overall effective and efficient management and administration of all court services, including court facilities, libraries, corporate services and staffing.
  • The Chief Administrator, in consultation with the chief justices of the Courts, shall establish and maintain the registries and prepare budgetary submissions for the requirements of those courts and for the related needs of the CAS.
  • The powers of the Chief Administrator do not extend to any matter assigned by law to the judiciary.

Subsection 9(1) states the following:

A chief justice may issue binding directions in writing to the Chief Administrator with respect to any matter within the Chief Administrator's authority.

Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs

Commissioner

William A. Brooks

Appointed August 2011 for a five-year term

     [Information was severed in accordance with the Access to Information Act. s.19(1)]     

Biography

The Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs (CFJA) was established in 1978 pursuant to the Judges Act. The main purpose of establishing the CFJA was to place at arm's length from the Department of Justice the administration of Part I of the Act, under which superior court judges' salaries and benefits are paid. In addition to the administration of Part I of the Act, the CFJA may also be assigned such other duties by the Minister of Justice as are necessary for the proper functioning of the judicial system in Canada.

The Appointments Secretariat of the CFJA is responsible for the administration of the federal judicial appointments policy pursuant to which 17 advisory committees are established to evaluate candidates for federal judicial appointments. The Minister of Justice has also given the CFJA the mandate to administer the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) Appointments Selection Panel process that was established to evaluate candidates for appointment to the SCC.

The Federal Courts Reports section of the CFJA is responsible for selecting and publishing decisions of the Federal Court of Appeal and Federal Court in both official languages. The CFJA's intranet, JUDICOM, provides judges with e-mail; a secure, restricted-access conversation system; and a virtual library. The CFJA also provides language training in English and French and coordinates initiatives related to the Canadian judiciary's role in international cooperation.

The CFJA administers three distinct components, each funded from a separate source.

  • Statutory funding is allocated for federally appointed judges' salaries, allowances and annuities, and their surviving beneficiaries' benefits.
  • Voted appropriations support the administrative activities of the Office of the Commissioner.
  • Separately voted appropriations fund the administrative activities of the Canadian Judicial Council.

The Office is headed by a full-time Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs who is assisted by a full-time Deputy Commissioner.

Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions

Director

Brian J. Saunders

Appointed May 2009 for a seven-year term

     [Information was severed in accordance with the Access to Information Act. s.19(1)]     

Biography

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) was created in 2006 under the Director of Public Prosecutions Act as part of the Federal Accountability Act.

The mandate of the Director of Public Prosecutions is, under and on behalf of the Attorney General, to:

  • initiate and conduct prosecutions on behalf of the Crown;
  • intervene in any matter that raises a question of public interest that may affect the conduct of prosecutions or related investigations;
  • issue guidelines to prosecutors respecting the conduct of prosecutions;
  • advise law-enforcement agencies or investigative bodies in respect of a particular investigation or prosecutions generally;
  • communicate with the media and the public on all matters respecting the initiation and conduct of prosecutions;
  • exercise the powers of the Attorney General with respect to private prosecutions; and
  • exercise any other power or carry out any other duty or function assigned to the Director by the Attorney General that is compatible with the office of Director.

The role of the PPSC is to ensure the continued independence of the exercise of prosecutorial powers free from political considerations. The Attorney General is accountable for any directions to the Director, which must also be made transparently.

The Attorney General has the power to intervene in the conduct of prosecutions by:

  • issuing written directives respecting the conduct of a specific prosecution;
  • issuing written directives respecting the initiation or conduct of prosecutions generally;
  • intervening in proceedings that raise questions of public interest, after notice to the Director; and
  • assuming conduct of a prosecution, following consultation with the Director.

The Director of Public Prosecutions Act provides for the appointment by the Governor in Council of a Director of Public Prosecutions on good behaviour for a term of seven years. The appointment must be reviewed by a selection committee, nominated by the Attorney General, and approved by a committee of Parliament.

The Act also provides that the Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Attorney General, may appoint one or more deputy directors of Public Prosecutions. There is no term limit on Deputy Director appointments.

Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime

Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime

Sue O'Sullivan

Appointed August 2010

Reappointed in August 2013 for a three-year term which can be renewed

Sue O'Sullivan

Biography

The Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime was established by Order in Council in 2007. The Ombudsman for Victims of Crime is appointed by the Governor in Council.

The mandate of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, which focuses on matters of federal jurisdiction including victims' concerns regarding federal corrections, is to:

  • promote victims' access to existing government programs and services for victims of crime;
  • Address victims' complaints about compliance with the provisions of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA) that apply to victims of offenders under federal supervision and to provide an independent resource for those victims;
  • promote awareness of the needs and concerns of victims and the applicable laws that benefit victims of crime, including the principles set out in the Canadian Statement of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime with respect to matters of federal jurisdiction, among criminal justice personnel and policy makers;
  • identify and review emerging issues and explore systemic issues that impact negatively on victims of crime; and
  • facilitate victims' access to existing federal programs and services by providing them with information and referrals.

The Ombudsman will not review or inquire into matters that occurred prior to the date the Office of the Ombudsman was established unless the Minister of Justice or the Minister of Public Safety requests the Ombudsman to do so.

A request for review may be brought to the Ombudsman by:

  • a registered victim, in respect of requests for review or issues relating to the victim's rights under the CCRA; or
  • any victim, victim service organization or victim advocate regarding other matters within federal responsibility.

The Ombudsman may commence a review:

  • at the request of the Minister of Justice or the Minister of Public Safety;
  • on receipt of a request for a review; or
  • on the Ombudsman's own initiative.

The Ombudsman may issue reports, including recommendations, at any time concerning any review or other matter that is within the Ombudsman's mandate to the Minister of Justice or the Minister of Public Safety depending on the issue. The Ombudsman is required to submit an annual report on activities to the Minister of Justice who will table the report in Parliament.

The Office of the Ombudsman has an operating budget for accommodation, customary office expenses, translation, contract research, travel and consultations.

Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada

Information Commissioner

Suzanne Legault

Appointed June 2010 for a seven-year term

Suzanne Legault

Biography

The Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada was established under the Access to Information Act (ATIA), which came into effect in 1983. The Information Commissioner is an independent Agent of Parliament, appointed by the Governor in Council following approval of the nomination by resolutions of the Senate and the House of Commons.

The Information Commissioner of Canada has the responsibility to:

  • investigate complaints under the federal ATIA; and
  • submit an annual report to Parliament, through the offices of the speakers of the Senate and the House of Commons, on the activities of the office within three months after the end of the financial year.

The Commissioner works independently from any other part of the government to investigate complaints from individuals with respect to the access to documents held by federal government institutions.

Canadians may complain to the Commissioner about any matter specified in section 30 of the ATIA. This act provides a right of access to information of records under the control of a government institution, subject to some specific exclusions (e.g. Cabinet confidences) and exemptions (e.g. solicitor-client communications).

As an ombudsperson, the Commissioner will often resolve complaints through negotiation and persuasion. The Commissioner has the power to summon witnesses, administer oaths and compel the production of evidence if voluntary cooperation is not forthcoming.

The Commissioner can ask the Federal Court to review a case if the government refuses to follow the Commissioner's recommendations when the Commissioner believes an individual has been improperly denied access and a resolution has proved impossible.

Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

Privacy Commissioner

Daniel Therrien

Appointed June 2014 for a seven-year term

Daniel Therrien

Biography

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada was established under the Privacy Act, which came into effect in 1983. The Privacy Commissioner is an independent Agent of Parliament, appointed by the Governor in Council following approval of the appointment by resolution of the Senate and the House of Commons. The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), which came into effect in 2001, made the Privacy Commissioner responsible for the implementation of Part I of that act.

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada has the responsibility to:

  • investigate complaints;
  • submit an annual report to Parliament, through the offices of the speakers of the Senate and the House of Commons, on the activities of the office within three months after the end of the financial year;
  • conduct research into privacy issues; and
  • promote awareness and understanding of privacy issues by the Canadian public.

The Commissioner works independently from any other part of the government to investigate complaints from individuals with respect to the federal public sector and the private sector.

As an ombudsperson, the Commissioner will often resolve complaints through negotiation and persuasion, using mediation and conciliation as appropriate. The Commissioner has the power to summon witnesses, administer oaths and compel the production of evidence if voluntary co-operation is not forthcoming. The Commissioner can ask the Federal Court to review a case if the government refuses to follow the Commissioner's recommendations when the Commissioner believes an individual has been improperly denied access to his or her personal information and a resolution has proved impossible.

The Privacy Act

Canadians may complain to the Commissioner about any matter specified in section 29 of the Privacy Act. This act applies to personal information held by government institutions.

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)

The Minister of Industry Canada, as the Minister responsible for PIPEDA, recommends to the Governor in Council the adoption of Orders in Council under the Act and tables Government bills in Parliament to amend the Act.

PIPEDA applies to personal information held by, collected, used or disclosed in the course of commercial activities by all private sector organizations, except in Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta, which have enacted legislation that is deemed to be substantially similar to the federal law. Canadians may complain to the Commissioner about any matter specified in section 11 of PIPEDA and the Commissioner may himself initiate a complaint.

Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada

Registrar

Roger Bilodeau, Q.C.

Appointed March 2009

     [Information was severed in accordance with the Access to Information Act. s.19(1)]     

Biography

The Registrar, who answers directly to the Chief Justice, is responsible for the management of the Court and exercises the quasi-judicial powers conferred by the Rules of the Court.

The Registrar's management responsibilities include the appointment and supervision of Court staff, management of the Library and the Registry, and publication of the Canada Supreme Court Reports.

The Registrar and the Deputy Registrar are both appointed by the Governor in Council. The Court's staff currently numbers approximately 200 employees, all of whom are members of the federal public service and work within one of the following sectors:

  • the Court Operations Sector;
  • the Communication Services;
  • the Corporate Services Sector; and
  • the Judicial Support and Protocol Branch.

Special Advisor on Criminal Conviction Review (Section 696.1 Applications)

Special Advisor

Bernard Grenier

Appointed November 2003

     [Information was severed in accordance with the Access to Information Act. s.19(1)]     

Biography

Section 696.1 (formerly section 690) of the Criminal Code provides that a person who has been convicted of an offence and who has exhausted all appeals may apply to the Minister of Justice for a review of his or her conviction. Criminal conviction review is an important safeguard to protect those Canadians who may have experienced potential miscarriages of justice. On November 20, 2003, an independent Special Advisor was appointed to ensure that the criminal conviction review process is fair and transparent.

Prior to the Special Advisor appointment, several other steps were taken by the Government of Canada to enhance the conviction review process. As a result of the November 2002 amendments to the Criminal Code, Department of Justice investigators can now compel witnesses to provide information during a conviction review. New regulations outline the review and application process, which helps to ensure the timeliness and accuracy of applications so that investigators are able to begin their work earlier.

The Criminal Code amendments also created a legal requirement for the Minister to submit an annual report to Parliament. The first report was tabled in September 2003. The latest report was tabled in September 2014.

The mandate of the Special Advisor is to review the findings of preliminary assessments and investigations conducted by the Department of Justice's Criminal Conviction Review Group pursuant to applications from those who believe they have been wrongfully convicted. After his review, he will advise the Minister of Justice directly on the merits of the applications.

Courts

Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada

Chief Justice

Hon. B. Richard Bell

Appointed February 2015

Hon. B. Richard Bell

Biography

The main function of the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada is to hear appeals from military courts, known as courts martial, established under the National Defence Act. The courts martial have power to try military personnel, and civilians accompanying such personnel abroad, for crimes and offences against the Code of Service Discipline.

The Court essentially performs the function of a provincial superior court of appellate criminal jurisdiction.

Judges of the Federal Court of Appeal and the Federal Court, as well as incumbent trial and appellate judges of the provincial superior courts, are eligible for appointment to the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada.

Federal Court of Appeal and Federal Court

The Federal Court of Appeal and the Federal Court are superior courts of record with civil and limited criminal jurisdiction. These national courts are itinerant in nature with courtroom and registry facilities across Canada. The courts are also bilingual and bijural (hearing both civil law and common law cases).

Until 2003, the Federal Court of Canada was one court consisting of two divisions: an Appeal and a Trial Division. Following amendments to the Federal Courts Act which came into force on July 2, 2003, these divisions became two separate courts: the Federal Court of Appeal and the Federal Court.

Federal Court of Appeal

Chief Justice

Hon. Marc Noël

Appointed October 2014

     [Information was severed in accordance with the Access to Information Act. s.19(1)]     

Biography

The Federal Court of Appeal has jurisdiction to hear appeals from judgments from the Federal Court, the Tax Court of Canada and certain statutory appeals.

The Federal Court of Appeal also has exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine applications for judicial review of decisions or orders of sixteen (16) federal boards, tribunals and commissions specifically enumerated in section 28 of in the Federal Courts Act. Pursuant to subsection 5(1) of the Federal Courts Act, the judicial complement of the Federal Court of Appeal consists of the Chief Justice and 12 puisne judges (of the 12 positions on the Court there are two that were established by the Anti-terrorism Act and cannot be filled until the Court has demonstrated, and Cabinet has agreed, that the need exists).

Federal Court

Chief Justice

Hon. Paul Crampton

Appointed December 2011

Hon. Paul Crampton

Biography

As a court of first instance, the Federal Court has original, but not exclusive, jurisdiction over cases by and against the Crown, appeals under approximately 110 federal statutes, and proceedings involving admiralty law, intellectual property law, Aboriginal law and national security.

The Federal Court has exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine judicial review applications of the decisions of all federal boards, tribunals and commissions other than those over which jurisdiction has been given to the Federal Court of Appeal. This jurisdiction includes applications for judicial review of decisions of the Immigration and Refugee Board.

Pursuant to subsection 5.1(1) of the Federal Courts Act, the full judicial complement of the Federal Court consists of the Chief Justice and 36 puisne judges. Of the 36 positions on the Federal Court, there are five unfilled positions which were approved and funded to deal with the anticipated increase in cases and new stay applications flowing from the new asylum system established by the Balanced Refugee Reform Act, which came into force December 15, 2012.

Supreme Court of Canada

Chief Justice

The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C.

Appointed January 2000

The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C.

Biography

The Supreme Court of Canada is the country's court of last resort. Its jurisdiction embraces both the civil law of Quebec and the common law.

The Court hears cases on appeal from the provincial and territorial courts of appeal, from the Federal Court of Appeal and from the Court Martial Appeal Court. In most cases, leave to appeal must be obtained first from a panel of three judges of the Court. In addition, the Governor in Council may refer questions to the Court.

The Supreme Court consists of the Chief Justice of Canada and eight puisne justices appointed by the Governor in Council from among superior court judges or barristers of at least 10 years of standing at the bar of a province or territory. The Chief Justice is sworn as a member of the Privy Council of Canada before taking the oath of office as Chief Justice. The Chief Justice is also ex officio chairperson of the Canadian Judicial Council, which is comprised of all superior court chief justices and associate chief justices, as well as the senior judges of the Nunavut Court of Justice, the Supreme Court of the Yukon Territory, and the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories and is constituted under the Judges Act.

The current puisne justices are:

  • Hon. Mr. Justice Clément Gascon
  • Hon. Madam Justice Suzanne Côté
  • Hon. Madam Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella
  • Hon. Mr. Justice Russell Brown
  • Hon. Mr. Justice Thomas Albert Cromwell
  • Hon. Mr. Justice Michael J. Moldaver
  • Hon. Madam Justice Andromache Karakatsanis
  • Hon. Mr. Justice Richard Wagner

Administration

The administration of the Supreme Court of Canada is independent from government and falls under the responsibility of the Registrar of the Supreme Court.

Tax Court of Canada

Chief Justice

Hon. Eugene P. Rossiter

Appointed December 2014

Hon. Eugene P. Rossiter

Biography

The Tax Court of Canada is a court of superior jurisdiction to which litigants may appeal to settle disagreements with the Government of Canada on matters arising under legislation over which the Court has exclusive original jurisdiction. It is the first level of appeal for taxpayers, and it is independent from the Canada Revenue Agency and all other government departments.

The Court has exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and determine references and appeals on matters arising under the following:

  • Income Tax Act
  • Canada Pension Plan
  • Old Age Security Act
  • Petroleum and Gas Revenue Tax Act
  • Employment Insurance Act
  • Part IX of the Excise Tax Act (GST)
  • Cultural Property Export and Import Act
  • Customs Act (Part V.1)
  • Air Travellers Security Charge Act
  • Excise Act, 2001
  • Softwood Lumber Products Export Charge Act, 2006

The Court also has exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals on matters arising under the:

  • War Veterans Allowance Act
  • Civilian War-related Benefits Act
  • Veterans Review and Appeal Board Act (section 33)

Section 4 of the Tax Court of Canada Act provides that the Tax Court of Canada consists of the Chief Justice, the Associate Chief Justice, and not more than 20 other judges.

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