chapter  7
24 Pages

Diversity, transparency and inclusion in Canada’s judiciary

BySamreen Beg, Lorne Sossin

This chapter provides a high level overview of some of the issues and stumbling blocks Canada has encountered in building a diverse judiciary. It begins by providing a brief overview of the heterogeneous makeup of Canadian society compared with the homogenous makeup of the judiciary. This provides a helpful backdrop from which to explore conceptual questions related to the bigger question of why a diverse judiciary matters. The chapter then examines some of the historical questions and milestones in the judiciary related to diversity before summarizing the judicial appointment processes. It looks at Canada's recent history related to judicial appointments and judicial diversity – specifically judicial appointments under Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government and recent moves by the new Liberal government led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The chapter wraps up with our thoughts on reforms that might signal greater commitment to diversity and inclusion as essential elements of an effective and independent judiciary.