Inside Politics

Ethics Committee Witness List Watch: Justice Boivin regrets ...

... that he will not be accepting the very kind invitation of Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro to testify at the upcoming hearings on the CBC and Access to Information.  

Hot off the federal court presses: 

The position of the Federal Court concerning the invitation to Justice Richard Boivin to appear before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics follows the position on this question set out in a decision of the Supreme Court of Canada:
"The judge's right to refuse to answer to the executive or legislative branches of government or their appointees as to how and why the judge arrived at a particular judicial conclusion is essential to the personal independence of the judge, one of the two main aspects of judicial independence: Valente v. The Queen, supra; Beauregard v. Canada, supra.  The judge must not fear that after issuance of his or her decision, he or she may be called upon to justify it to another branch of government.   The analysis in Beauregard v. Canada supports the conclusion that judicial immunity is central to the concept of judicial independence.   As stated by Dickson C.J. in Beauregard v. Canada, the judiciary, if it is to play the proper constitutional role, must be completely separate in authority and function from the other arms of government.   It is implicit in that separation that a judge cannot be required by the executive or legislative branches of government to explain and account for his or her judgment.  To entertain the demand that a judge testify before a civil body, an emanation of the legislature or executive, on how and why he or she made his or her decision would be to strike at the most sacrosanct core of judicial independence. See MacKeigan v. Hickman, [1989] 2 S.C.R. 796 at
This position reflects that of the Canadian Judicial Council.
Therefore, Justice Richard Boivin declines the invitation of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.

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