Assessment criteria, candidates for Federal Judicial Appointment

Jointly with this assessment of professional competence and overall merit, committees must strive to create a pool of candidates that is gender-balanced and reflective of the diversity of each jurisdiction, including Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and members of linguistic, ethnic and other minority communities, including those whose members' gender identity or sexual orientation differs from that of the majority. In doing so, committees should give due consideration to all legal experience, including that outside of mainstream legal practice. Broad consultations by the committees, and community involvement through these consultations, are essential elements of the process.

The following list of factors, though not exhaustive, is intended to provide a basis for assessing the suitability of candidates for judicial appointment.

Professional Competence & Experience

While courtroom experience and bilingualism are assets, they are only some of the many factors which may be considered in assessing a candidate's suitability for the role of judge. Candidates from traditional and non-traditional legal careers will be equally considered.

  • general proficiency in the law
  • intellectual ability
  • analytical skills
  • ability to listen
  • ability to maintain an open mind while hearing all sides of an argument
  • ability to make decisions
  • capacity to exercise sound judgement
  • reputation among professional peers and in the general community
  • area(s) of professional specialization, specialized experience or special skills
  • ability to manage time and workload without supervision
  • capacity to handle heavy workload
  • capacity to handle stress and pressures of the isolation of the judicial role
  • interpersonal skills - with peers and the general public
  • awareness of racial and gender issues
  • bilingual ability

Personal Characteristics

  • demonstration of a commitment to public service
  • sensitivity to and understanding of gender, racial equity and aboriginal justice issues
  • an appreciation of social issues
  • sensitivity to changes in social values
  • receptiveness to new ideas that are constructive to the public good
  • sense of ethics
  • patience
  • courtesy
  • honesty
  • common sense
  • tact
  • integrity
  • humility
  • punctuality
  • fairness
  • empathy
  • reliability
  • tolerance
  • sense of responsibility
  • consideration for others

Potential Impediments to Appointment

  • Any debilitating physical or mental medical condition, including drug or alcohol dependency, that would be likely to impair the candidate's ability to perform the duties of a judge
  • Any past or current disciplinary actions or matters against the candidate
  • Any current or past civil or criminal actions involving the candidate
  • Financial difficulties including bankruptcy, tax arrears or arrears of child support payments

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