The Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould has said that the three vacancies for the judges in New Brunswick’s Court of Queen’s bench will soon be filled. Even though she said that the vacancies will be filled in short order, she did not say when it will be filled.
There is also a transfer request by Chief Justice David Smith on the cards. The appointments of the Federal judges would prevent the Smith’s transfer request. David faced a feud from the Liberal Government Premier Brian Gallant on his power to move the judges.
She did not dwell too much on the Chief Justice transfer and said it was a provincial issue. Wilson-Raybould said that the administration and the organizational role of the superior courts of the province are not in the hands of the federal government. It is Ottawa that appoints the judges of the Court of Queen’s Bench.
There is a fight for judicial independence that is going on in the province. Justice Thomas Christie was transferred from Saint John to fill a vacancy in the court of Queen’s bench last fall by Smith. There was a liberal legislation that was passed in May 2017 that prevented him from transferring judges on his own.