Code of Ethics

Federal Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee

  1. A member of the Committee shall not discuss with a candidate, formally or otherwise, by whatever means, that person's candidacy, other than in the context of an interview arranged at the request of the Committee. All communications with candidates must be directed through the Executive Director, Judicial Appointments.
  2. Members of the Committee shall not participate in the appointment process other than in the context of the Committee's work.
  3. A member of the Committee must show discretion and neutrality in all aspects of Committee work. Questions must be directed only to the candidate's fitness for the bench. No questions concerning a candidate's political views or political affiliation are to be raised. If a candidate has mentioned active participation in a political party as part of his or her social involvement, no inference, favourable or unfavourable, is to be drawn other than the indication of the candidate's capacity for social involvement.
  4. A member shall not state his or her opinion of a candidate's suitability, nor participate in the Committee's deliberations or discussions concerning a candidate, if the member is in a position of conflict of interest, real or apparent, so as to raise an apprehension of bias either for or against the candidate. The foregoing includes, but is not limited to, situations where the member has agreed to act as a referee for the candidate, is or has had a close business or personal relationship with the candidate, such as an associate, law partner or business partner of the candidate within the last ten years, is a spouse, ex-spouse or a relative of the candidate, or is a close friend of the candidate. Where a member is in a position of conflict of interest, real or apparent, the member must declare the conflict to the Chair and the Executive Director. The member may provide comments on the candidate if the member so chooses, but the member must withdraw from discussions by leaving the room, and abstain from voting on the assessment of any candidate.
  5. All Committee discussions and proceedings shall be treated as strictly confidential and must not be disclosed outside the Committee, except to the Minister of Justice, except that a Committee Chair may inform the Chief Justice of the names of the candidates who have been recommended by the committee. A member shall not communicate to a candidate or to any other person, during his or her term or thereafter, the substance or details of any interviews held, of discussions within the Committee nor of recommendations made.
  6. A member of the Committee shall not receive an advantage, a reward or a gift in connection with his or her participation in the Committee's work, except for reimbursement of expenses incurred (travel, long distance charges, etc.) and meals in the context of Committee meetings.
  7. A member of the Committee shall not be a candidate for a position within the federal judiciary until the expiry of a period of one (1) year following the end of his or her term of office as a Committee member.
  8. A member of the Committee who learns that a candidate has serious health concerns; has committed a criminal or other offence, has a breach of professional conduct; has been involved in questionable financial dealings; has failed to meet family support obligations; or has committed some other act likely to constitute a possible impediment to the appointment or likely to cast an unfavourable light on the exercise of the judicial function, must inform the Committee and, in an emergency, the Chair of the Committee and the Executive Director, Judicial Appointments. This applies whether the information relates to a candidate who is to be evaluated or one who has already been evaluated.

October 2016