Justice Marc Nadon to the Supremes

PM announces nominee for Supreme Court of Canada
30 September 2013
Ottawa, Ontario

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced the nomination of Mr. Justice Marc Nadon for the Supreme Court of Canada. Mr. Justice Nadon will replace Mr. Justice Morris Fish, who resigned from the Supreme Court of Canada effective August 31, 2013.

“I am pleased to announce the nomination of Mr. Justice Nadon, whose extraordinary body of legal work – as a longtime judge on both the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal; judicial member of the Competition Tribunal; expert in maritime and transportation law with almost 20 years as a practicing member of the Barreau du Québec; arbitrator; teacher; and author – makes him an ideal candidate for the Supreme Court of Canada,” said Prime Minister Harper. “His nomination is the result of an extensive review process that included consultations with prominent members of the legal community in Québec.”

Mr. Justice Nadon has agreed to appear before an ad hoc committee of parliamentarians on October 2, 2013.

Biographical notes on the nominee are attached.

The Honourable Mr. Justice Marc Nadon
30 September 2013
Ottawa, Ontario

Mr. Justice Marc Nadon graduated from Collège Lionel-Groulx (DEC, 1970) and the Université de Sherbrooke with a Bachelor of Civil Law (LL.L 1973). He was called to the Barreau du Québec in 1974.

Mr. Justice Nadon is currently a judge of the Federal Court of Appeal, where he has served since 2001. From 1993-2001, he served as a judge of the Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division and as an ex officio member of the Federal Court of Appeal. In 1994, Mr. Justice Nadon was appointed Judge of the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada and, in 1998, a judicial member of the Competition Tribunal.

Prior to his appointment to the Federal Court, Mr. Justice Nadon was a lawyer and partner at Fasken Martineau Walker in Montreal (1974-1993), including a stint in the London, United Kingdom office of that firm (1988-1990).

On three separate occasions between 1987 and 1992, Mr. Justice Nadon was a Lecturer in Maritime and Transportation Law at the Faculty of Law of the Université de Sherbrooke. Before and since his appointment to the bench, he has written a number of articles on maritime law as well as coauthoring, with Professor William Tetley of McGill University, the second edition of Professor Tetley’s well-known publication Marine Cargo Claims.

As a result of his extensive practice in maritime law, Mr. Justice Nadon is a recognized expert in that field. He also has wide experience in both domestic and international arbitrations, namely in London, England and in New York, pertaining to maritime issues. His practice also included litigation in general insurance law and commercial matters. Prior to his appointment to the Federal Court of Canada in 1993, Mr. Justice Nadon regularly pleaded cases before all levels of Québec and national courts, including the Québec Court of Appeal, the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada.

Mr. Justice Nadon is the Chair of the Federal Court of Appeal Education Committee and served for many years as a member of the Federal Courts Rules Committee, as well as other court committees.

Anticipating controversy, the PMO has asked former Justice Ian Binnie to opine on the eligibility of a Federal Court of Appeal Judge who had before appointment, practised for over a decade at the Barreau du Québec, to be appointed to one of the three “Québec seats” on the court under s. 6 of the Supreme Court Act.. His opinion was endorsed by former Justice Louise Carron and Professor Peter Hogg:

Qualification of a member of the Federal Court with 10 years of experience as a member of the Québec Bar to be appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada
30 September 2013
Ottawa, Ontario

Attached to this Backgrounder is a legal opinion provided by former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Ian Binnie, C.C., Q.C., affirming the qualification of a judge from the Federal Court system with 10 years of prior experience as a member of the Québec Bar to be appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada from Québec.

We have also consulted with another eminent retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Honourable Louise Charron, C.C. Mrs. Charron reviewed and expressed support for the view taken by the Honourable Ian Binnie in his opinion. She believes that “there is no question that a judge of the federal court is eligible for an appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada as a representative of the Province of Québec, as long as he or she has been a member of the Québec Bar for at least 10 years.”

Constitutional expert Professor Peter W. Hogg, C.C., Q.C., has also reviewed Mr. Binnie’s opinion and has said he is “in complete agreement with the Honourable Ian Binnie’s conclusion that a person who has been a member of the Québec Bar for 10 years and is now sitting as a Federal Court judge is eligible to be appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada from Québec.”

Supreme Court geeks can view Mr. Binnie’s legal opinion and accompanying appendix of statutory history. The documents are unlikely to still a firestorm of criticism from the province.

Backgrounders on the Supreme Court of Canada appointments selection process and on the appointment of a federal court judge to the Supreme Court of Canada are also attached

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