Our purpose is to protect and enhance judicial independence, improve the administration of justice, provide continuing education and other support services for judges, and promote public understanding of the role judges play in the justice system. To accomplish this, we focus on eight key areas:
- Independent Judiciary: An independent judiciary assures citizens accused of crimes and those who turn to the courts to resolve legal disputes that their cases will be handled fairly, objectively and free of outside influences. We work with the Canadian Judicial Council and other judicial organizations to strengthen judicial independence, and improve understanding of its importance in our submissions to the Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission.
- Administration of Justice: Our members are active in the Canadian Judicial Council, Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, the International Association of Judges and other organizations dedicated to improving how justice is administered. Together, we explore ways to improve court operations, help self-represented litigants and raise awareness among the public.
- Judges’ Salaries and Benefits: An independent body, the Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission, reviews the remuneration of superior court judges every four years and files a report, based on submissions from the CSCJA and the Canadian Judicial Council, with the federal government recommending salary increases or improved benefits. This arms-length process prevents the government from arbitrarily changing judges’ salaries and benefits, and protects judicial independence.
- Continuing Education for Judges: We work with the National Judicial Institute to organize conferences, seminars and workshops that keep judges up to date on the law, ethics, social and other issues.
- Support Services for Judges: In conjunction with the office of each jurisdiction’s provincial or territorial court chief judge, we offer an array of counseling and support services for superior court judges and their families. For short-term support, you also have access to the Judges Counseling Program.
- Conduct and Accountability: Judges, while independent, are accountable for their conduct. We provide advice to our members on how the process works, how to respond to a complaint and the services available to assist the judge in responding to a complaint.
- Supernumerary and Retired Judges: The Association’s submissions to the Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission also include retirement-related issues such as pensions.
- Public Education: We are dedicated to increasing public awareness of how Canada’s justice system works and, in particular, the key role judges play in resolving disputes, protecting citizens’ rights and ensuring justice is carried out.