Bench depth: Yukon to get new Supreme Court judge

The Yukon will get a new Supreme Court judge, the recently unveiled federal budget shows.

The Yukon will get a new Supreme Court judge, the recently unveiled federal budget shows.

On March 24 the federal government announced $55 million over the next five years to appoint new judges throughout the country.

Andrea Bailey, a legal officer with the Yukon Supreme and Territorial Courts confirmed to the News the Yukon will be getting a new Supreme Court judge. The Yukon government formally announced the news March 30.

In a statement, justice minister Tracy-Anne McPhee said the “new Supreme Court justice will give us much-needed local capacity.”

The federal government is responsible for appointing and paying for Yukon Supreme Court judges.

Currently there are only two resident Supreme Court judges, Chief Justice Ron Veale and Justice Leigh Gower.

The Supreme Court also relies on nine judges from the Northwest Territories and Nunavut and 44 deputy judges from across Canada.

The new judge however, won’t be here for quite some time.

“It will be a long process – the federal government has to strike a committee to screen applicants, then screen applicants, then make a recommendation up to the (federal) Minister of Justice,” Bailey said.

The judge will be appointed through a new process the federal government introduced last fall.

In January the federal government appointed seven judicial advisory committees in B.C., Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador. Those committees are independent from the government and make recommendations to the minister of justice. A judicial advisory committee for the Yukon has yet to be created.

Yukon Supreme Court handles every civil case in the territory except for small claims court cases. It also deals with serious criminal charges.

Contact Pierre Chauvin at pierre.chauvin@yukon-news.com

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