12 January 2009

Rumpole and the Minister’s Choice

For the record, here is the section of the Provincial Court Act, 1991 under which cabinet appointed Don Singleton to be a Provincial Court Judge.

Remember:  the Judicial Council didn’t make the appointment.  Tom Marshall – justice minister and attorney general – picked Don singleton from a list of applicants some of whom were highly recommended and others of whom, including Singleton were “recommended”.

Appointment of judges

5. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the minister, may appoint persons to be judges of the court.

(2) No person shall be appointed as a judge unless he or she

(a) has been a member in good standing of the bar of one or more of the provinces of Canada for a total of at least 10 years; and

(b) is at the time of the appointment a practising member in good standing of the Law Society of Newfoundland.

(3) No person may be recommended by the minister under subsection (1) without the recommendation of the judicial council under paragraph 18(a).

For comparison, here is the section from the old act, circa 1974 and amended in 1978 and 1988,  on appointment of judges:

Appointment of Provincial Court judges

6. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council, upon the recommendation of the minister in consultation with the judicial council, may appoint, by Commission under the Great Seal, those persons that the Lieutenant-Governor in Council considers appropriate and necessary, to be judges of the Provincial Court of Newfoundland.

(2) A person appointed as a Provincial Court judge shall be a member in good standing of the Law Society of Newfoundland.

(3) A Provincial Court judge shall be paid, out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the province, a salary fixed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council by regulations made under section 25.

(4) The terms of the appointment of Provincial Court judges shall be judicially noted.

(5) Where a new Provincial Court district is made under section 14 or where a Provincial Court judge dies, resigns or is removed from office leaving a Provincial Court district without an appointed Provincial Court judge, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may appoint a new Provincial Court judge to that Provincial Court district.