Recently, Alberta Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer replaced a number of members of the Alberta Provincial Court Nominating Committee (the “PCNC”). The PCNC is an advisory committee created under s. 7 of the Government Organization Act, which makes recommendations about qualified candidates provided by the Alberta Judicial Council for Provincial Court Judges. Candidates approved by the PCNC are placed on an Appointment Eligibility List, and the Minister selects individuals for appointment to the Provincial Court of Alberta from that list.
CBA Alberta has the privilege of always having one representative serve on the PCNC, which remains unchanged under the revised committee constitution. We take that privilege and responsibility seriously. I wanted to take a moment to confirm how this system works and our role in it.
The independence of the judiciary from the executive and legislative branches of government is a foundation of Canada’s justice system, democracy, and overriding rule of law, and eliminates the risk of political interference in the appointment and compensation of judges. The PCNC plays an essential role in that process.
Members of the PCNC agree to act with impartiality and integrity; to demonstrate respect, excellence and accountability; and to be free from bias and prejudice treating all individuals equitably. Members have a responsibility to act in good faith and to place the interests of the PCNC above their own private interests.
We have faith and trust in how this process has worked well for Albertans for many years. We have participated on PCNC committee panels made up of dedicated and qualified individuals of diverse backgrounds. We are pleased with the recent appointments of qualified judges to the Alberta Provincial Court Bench that have met all criteria to serve the justice system. We will continue to participate and take our obligations to the Bar, the Bench and to the province seriously and with diligence.
If you have any questions about our role on the PCNC, or about our continuing advocacy for the Alberta justice system through our Agenda for Justice or otherwise, do not hesitate to contact us.
President, CBA Alberta