Little Fish in a Giant pond

Sunday, May 04, 2008

What kind of reforms are in our future?

Well, it appears that exams and essays really kept me out of the loop for the last month, because it was only this morning that I picked up a copy the April 18th edition of The Lawyers weekly and learned that Justice Bastarache of the Supreme Court will be retiring on June 30th of this year.
The article by Cristin Schmitz also points out that this event is not just significant because it means the end of a very hard working Justice's time with the highest court in the land, but also because for the first time, Stephen Harper's government will be tested on its ability to keep its promise to reform the Supreme Court nomination process. It should be noted that Harper has already appointed one new justice to the Supreme Court, Justice Rothstein, but this was at a time when the reformed process brought about by Paul Martin was already well under way, and he was already under a lot of pressure to make an appointment, his critics were pretty forgiving at the time.
Now, as Schmitz points out, this announcement means that the PM will have a full six months before the next court session begins in order to hash out the changes he wants made to the nomination process. With a spring election looking to be pretty much out of the question at the moment, it is likely that he will either have to come through with some important changes, or have to deal with the political consequences of having broken yet another election promise.
It looks like we're in for some interesting debate, on what promises to be a highly emotional subject. This should be interesting!

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