I’m on for a little rant today but this is significant topic, courtesy of one of my LRW students conducting some research on the Nadon appointment to the SCC (on the plus side this does drive home the point I continually try to make that you cannot exclusively rely on one source or the web all the time). Interestingly, I thought we were getting rid of all the print government publications because the Interwebs are so much more efficient and effective? Well try and find SC 2013, c 40 which received Royal Assent on December 12, 2013, over a month ago. Here is the link to the 2013 Annual Statutes however to save you the time, here is what you will see: Notice the list ends at Chapter 37. No problem you say – go to the Gazette Part III, so let’s meander over to Gazette Part III. Again, to save you the trouble of following the link, here is what you will see: , updated to Vol 36, no 3 SEPTEMBER 2013, no Chapter 40 here.
What brought this about? Well there is the little matter of a recent appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada, it’s been in the news. Which is regulated by the Supreme Court Act, if you go to the Table of Public Statutes and look up the Supreme Court Act you will see that there has been a recent amendment to the act, specifically in the sections that deal with the appointment of Judges. . So it seems to me that it rather significant that this amendment be readily available.
I will grant you that IF you know the name of the act (which the TPS does not give you) or the Bill Number (also not provided by the TPS) you can find the Bill form of the act at Parl.gc.ca but that seems like it is beside the point that this is an act that received Royal Assent over a month ago and should be available on the official platform for the Statutes of Canada yet is not. To use the parlance of the interweb age: EPIC FAIL!
471. The Supreme Court Act is amended by adding the following after section 5:
For greater certainty 5.1 For greater certainty, for the purpose of section 5, a person may be appointed a judge if, at any time, they were a barrister or advocate of at least 10 years standing at the bar of a province.
472. The Act is amended by adding the following after section 6:
For greater certainty 6.1 For greater certainty, for the purpose of section 6, a judge is from among the advocates of the Province of Quebec if, at any time, they were an advocate of at least 10 years standing at the bar of that Province.
I find it disturbing that one has to go to these lengths to obtain this information, and quite frankly feel that it is unacceptable.