Canada high court nominee formally appointed after landmark public hearing

[JURIST] Canadian Federal Court judge Marshall Rothstein [official profile] was formally appointed as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada [official website] Wednesday two days after appearing before a committee of Canadian parliamentarians in the first public questioning of a Canadian high court nominee [JURIST report]. The appointment was announced [press release] by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper [official website]. The ad hoc committee, chaired by Canadian Justice Minister Vic Toews [JURIST report] and made up of members from both Canadian House of Commons and Senate, did not actually vote on the nomination, nor did the two Canadian parliamentary chambers. Harper nonetheless hailed the hearing as having brought "unprecedented openness and accountability to the process", allowing "Canadians to get to know Justice Rothstein through their members of Parliament in a way that was not previously possible." Whether this exact exercise will be repeated with future Canadian Supreme Court nominees is still uncertain; the Prime Minister's Office insisted in a release Wednesday that "The hearing by the Ad Hoc Committee to Review a Nominee for the Supreme Court of Canada was an interim process designed to fill the specific vacancy left by Justice Major. Full details of a process to fill future vacancies will be announced at a future date."

Rothstein is a former lawyer and law professor from the Canadian province of Manitoba. In a statement [text] released Wednesday, Canadian Chief Justice Beverley McLaughlin [official profile] welcomed his appointment, saying that he brings to the court "superb experience, both as a lawyer and a judge, and he has a profound commitment to the rule of law." The Toronto Globe & Mail has more.

 

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