Court Security in Canada is a new report of the Canadian Judges’ Forum (the Forum). The Forum, a conference of the Canadian Bar Association, includes about six hundred judges from across Canada. One of the main goals of the Forum is to provide a meeting place within the CBA for judges of all courts, and in line with that goal, to take on projects of interest to all members of the judiciary.
This Report is one such project. It considers unique Canadian challenges for ensuring the safety of judges and other court personnel. The Report looks at the range of situations that may be confronted by Canadian judges, largely as a result of the size and geographic diversity of the country, and surveys the various practices, procedures and legislation governing those situations. The Forum collected anecdotes from sitting judges about their own experiences and perceptions, and those anecdotes are emphasized throughout the Report. The Report concludes by providing a checklist of general questions for court administrators, and a checklist of specific questions related to personal security that judges may wish to routinely consider.
Given the potentially sensitive nature of its content, the Forum has decided to limit its hard copy distribution to Chief Judges and Justices of all Canadian courts, judicial organizations, and the Association of Canadian Court Administrators. It is available electronically to Canadian Judges' Forum members only. (Click here to see the full report). Any member of the judiciary unable to access the report can contact Jennifer Lalonde to receive an electronic copy.
The Canadian Judges' Forum was established in 1995 as a conference of the CBA. With the National Judicial Institute, it is one of two organizations in Canada for both federally and provincially appointed judges. Judges who join the CBA are automatically members of the Forum.
The objectives of the Canadian Judges' Forum are:
- to promote the views and interests of judges within the CBA;
- to provide a means for judges to participate in the CBA which respects judicial independence;
- to provide a forum for the exchange of information and ideas amongst judges of all Courts of Record, and between judges and members of the Bar; and
- to develop member services relevant to judges.
To respect judges' independence, members of the Canadian Judges' Forum have special voting rights within the CBA. Judges can be designated members of CBA Council, but cannot be elected or alternate members.
The Forum permits judges to be active in CBA activities, while maintaining judicial independence by isolating judges from CBA policy on issues of public interest.
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