Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs Canada

Our Role

The Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs Canada (FJA) was created in 1978 under an Act of the Parliament of Canada to safeguard the independence of the judiciary and put federally appointed judges at arm's length from the Department of Justice. Our mandate extends to promoting better administration of justice and providing support for the federal judiciary.

In supporting federal judicial activities, FJA must strive to meet three priorities:

  • protect the independence of the judiciary;
  • achieve greater administrative efficiency in the judiciary using up-to-date technology; and
  • support the judiciary and provide central administrative services to judges.

The Judges Act provides for the designation of an officer called the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs Canada. One of the roles and responsibilities of the Commissioner is to act on behalf of the Minister of Justice in matters related to the administration of Part I of the Judges Act, which deals with the terms of appointment, age limit and salaries applicable to federally appointed judges.

FJA has an appointments secretariat which administers 17 advisory committees responsible for evaluating candidates for federal judicial appointments. The Minister of Justice has given FJA the mandate to administer the Supreme Court of Canada Appointments Selection Panel process, established to evaluate candidates for appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Federal Courts Reports section of FJA is responsible for selecting and publishing Federal Court of Appeal and Federal Court decisions in both official languages. FJA's intranet, JUDICOM, provides judges with e-mail, a secure, restricted-access conversation system and a virtual library. FJA also provides language training in English and French for judges who wish to take the program. Finally, FJA coordinates initiatives related to the Canadian judiciary's role in international cooperation.