Supreme Court of Canada Appointment Process - 2017

On July 14, 2017, the Prime Minister of Canada opened the process to select the next justice of the Supreme Court of Canada to fill the vacancy created by the upcoming retirement of Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin. (View Prime Minister’s news release)

Under the new process used for the first time in 2016, an independent and non-partisan Advisory Board, will again be given the task of identifying suitable candidates who are jurists of the highest caliber, are functionally bilingual, and are representative of the diversity of Canada. The Advisory Board will submit a short list of three to five individuals for consideration by the Prime Minister. The members of the Advisory Board were announced on July 17, 2017. (View Prime Minister’s news release)

Chief Justice McLachlin was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada from the Supreme Court of British Columbia where she was Chief Justice. In recognition of the custom of regional representation, this process will be open to candidates from Western Canada (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba) and Northern Canada (Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon). When applying, through the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs Canada, candidates should make reference to their bar membership, judicial appointment, or other relationship with Western Canada or Northern Canada.

The application period ends September 15, 2017. This process is to fill the ninth position on the Supreme Court of Canada. From the nine members then assembled, the Prime Minister will identify the next Chief Justice.

More information regarding the process can be found in the following pages.