Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia

Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia

May 05, 2014 20:33 ET

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Attack on Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin Improperly and Unfairly Calls into Question the Integrity of the Chief Justice

PM Launches Groundless, Baseless Attack in the Nadon Matter

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - May 5, 2014) - The Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia (TLABC) is deeply concerned by the comments Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper made about Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada Beverly McLachlin, regarding the appointment of Justice Marc Nadon.

"It is the proper role of the Chief Justice to flag potential ineligibility issues when a seat becomes available on the Supreme Court of Canada," said TLABC President Richard Parsons. "Chief Justice McLachlin acted appropriately in doing so, and Prime Minister Harper should withdraw his unwarranted criticism of her," Parsons advised.

"In order for government and society to function properly, there must be respect for the rule of law. Prime Minister Harper's criticism of the Chief Justice is not only unwarranted, but also could have the effect of bringing the administration of justice into disrepute," continued Parsons. "Prime Minister Harper behaved carelessly and unfairly in calling into question the ethics and judgement of the Chief Justice of Canada. There is not a legitimate basis for criticism of her in this matter. As a sitting judge, the Chief Justice is unable to engage in a public debate with Prime Minister Harper, and Mr. Harper is well aware of this. His criticism is baseless and smacks of political bullying."

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