Elected Judges Lead to Less Partial Judges Should the Supreme Court of Canada Be Elected in Order to Increase Canadian Democracy

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Jack Murphy

Abstract

Canada’s government structure has long used the idea of Peace, Order, and Good government to justify the selection and subsequent terms of long political majorities and appointed justices.  This paper will be addressing the research question: should the justices of the Supreme Court of Canada be elected to increase Canadian democratic values or should they remain appointed?  Currently the Supreme Court of Canada is selected by the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister.   In answering this research question this paper will weigh to the pros and cons of both the current judiciary system and a judiciary section based on elections in order to prove that Supreme Court of Canada justices should stay appointed. A crucial factor in the selection of supreme court judges is the idea of judicial independence. Justices are not elected in order to ensure that there is no partisanship or inappropriate relationships between the judiciary and the legislature. It is argued that this is null and void as a result of the fact that the judges are effectively chosen by the head of government.  In the Canadian system, there lies an important balance between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches; this balance of power relies heavily on the Supreme Court being a non-partisan last check on any bills that reach it from the House. This is contrasted by the fact that the Supreme Court of Canada has last say on a plethora of issues that affect the lives of all Canadians and Canada is a constitutional monarchy, meaning that the power is always supposed to be derived from the people. Any power of government in Canada must trace its power back to the people for it to be considered legitimate.  After a compare and contrast of the effect that electing the Supreme Court of Canada will have on the judicial independence and the federal balance of power it is hypothesised that the Supreme Court of Canada should continue as an appointed body.

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