5. [Who may be appointed judges] Any person may be appointed a judge who is or has been a judge of a superior court of a province or a barrister or advocate of at least ten years standing at the bar of a province.
6. [Three judges from Quebec] At least three of the judges shall be appointed from among the judges of the Court of Appeal or of the Superior Court of the Province of Quebec or from among the advocates of that Province.
The purpose of s. 6 is to ensure not only civil law training and experience on the Court, but also to ensure that Quebec’s distinct legal traditions and social values are represented on the Court, thereby enhancing the confidence of the people of Quebec in the Supreme Court as the final arbiter of their rights. Put differently, s. 6 protects both the functioning and the legitimacy of the Supreme Court as a general court of appeal for Canada.
I do not agree that s. 6 was intended to ensure that “Quebec’s . . . social values are represented on the Court” (para. 18). Parliament made a deliberate choice to include only objective criteria in ss. 5 and 6. Importing social values — 140 years later — is unsupported by the text and history of the Act.
"You won't recognize Canada when I'm through with it" --Stephen Harper, 2006
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