Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, David Lametti, led a virtual forum with lawyers from across Canada to encourage members of historically under-represented communities — such as Black and racialized Canadians, Indigenous peoples, persons with a disability or who identify as LGBTQ2 — to consider applying for judicial appointment.
Judicial diversity refers to ethnicity, Indigenous identity, gender and gender identity, sexuality or disability, and the range of perspectives and lived experiences from judges that better reflects contemporary Canadian society. Ensuring a diversity of experience and culture within Canada’s judiciary is fundamental to a fair and effective justice system, recognizing that when Canadians see themselves reflected in those who sit on the bench, their confidence in the administration of justice as a whole increases.
During the forum, conducted in French, the Minister engaged panelists to present on their experiences as judges or as members of Judicial Advisory Committees (JACs). These individuals provided first-hand accounts of their experiences with the appointments process, and offered insights into what applicants could expect throughout the process, similar to the forum held in English earlier this year.
The Minister again took the occasion to strongly encourage members of diverse communities to apply for judicial appointment and to reiterate that, in light of the current pandemic, we must continue to seek ways to modernize the justice system to better support populations facing systemic barriers.