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S.M. 2022, c. 11
Bill 8, 4th Session, 42nd Legislature
The Court of Appeal Amendment and Provincial Court Amendment Act
This note was written as a reader's aid to the Bill and is not part of the law.
The Court of Appeal Act is amended by this Bill to expressly authorize judges to meet with the parties to an appeal and attempt to settle issues in dispute before the appeal is heard.
The Bill also makes several amendments to The Provincial Court Act.
Changes are made to the organization of the judicial appointment committee. This committee is made up of judges, lawyers and members of the public to evaluate persons seeking appointment as a judge. The number of committee members who are not lawyers or judges is increased from three members to four members. The members of the committee will elect a member who is not a judge to serve as chair of the committee.
A new process for appointing Provincial Court judges is established. All persons who apply to become a judge will be evaluated by the judicial appointment committee. When a new judge is to be appointed, the Minister of Justice will receive a list that contains information about all the candidates and the judicial appointment committee's evaluation of each candidate. A judicial appointment must be made from persons on the list.
To be eligible for judicial appointment, a candidate must undertake to participate in education on matters related to sexual assault law and social context unless the applicant has already completed training approved by the Chief Judge on those matters.
The Chief Judge may establish and report annually on seminars for the continuing education of judges, including seminars on matters related to sexual assault law and social context.
(Assented to June 1, 2022)
HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:
THE COURT OF APPEAL ACT
The following is added after clause 33(c):
The following is added after section 37:
At the request of all parties to an appeal, the Chief Justice of Manitoba may appoint a judge to meet with the parties and attempt to settle all or some of the issues on appeal before the hearing of the appeal.
A judge presiding over a settlement conference must not be compelled to give evidence in any action or proceeding relating to the settlement conference.
No action or proceeding may be brought against a judge in relation to their actions at a settlement conference.
THE PROVINCIAL COURT ACT
Subsection 3(2) is amended by striking out "and" at the end of clause (b), adding "and" at the end of clause (c) and adding the following after clause (c):
(d) undertakes to participate in continuing education on matters related to sexual assault law and social context, which includes systemic racism and systemic discrimination, including by attending seminars that may be established under section 8.1.1, unless the person has already completed training approved by the Chief Judge on those matters.
Section 3.1 is replaced with the following:
Subsection 3.3(2) is amended
(a) in clause (a), by striking out everything after "Chief Judge"; and
The following is added after subsection 3.3(4):
The following is added after subsection 3.4(5):
The committee must evaluate each candidate as
(a) recommended for appointment; or
Sections 3.5 and 3.6 are replaced with the following:
The judicial appointment committee must prepare an ongoing list of all persons who have applied for appointment as a judge and who meet the qualifications for appointment set out in subsection 3(2).
The list must be in the following form:
(a) candidates must be listed in alphabetical order;
(b) a brief summary of the background and qualifications of each candidate must be provided;
(c) the committee's evaluation of each candidate must be set out beside the candidate's name.
The committee may conduct periodic reviews of the list of candidates to ensure that persons on the list are still seeking judicial appointment and there have been no material changes that might affect the evaluation of a candidate. The committee may make revisions to the list based on those reviews.
When the minister advises the Chief Judge that the appointment of a judge is required, the judicial appointment committee must provide the minister with the current list of candidates.
The minister may request the re-evaluation of a candidate if the minister disagrees with the committee's evaluation of the candidate.
The committee must re-evaluate a candidate when a request for re-evaluation is made by the minister. The committee must either provide the minister with a revised list of candidates if its evaluation of the candidate has changed or provide written confirmation that its evaluation has not changed.
The following is added after section 8.1:
The Chief Judge may establish seminars for the continuing education of judges, including seminars on matters related to sexual assault law and social context, which includes systemic racism and systemic discrimination.
The Chief Judge should ensure that seminars established under subsection (1) on matters related to sexual assault law
(a) are developed after consultation with persons, groups or organizations whom the Chief Judge considers appropriate, such as sexual assault survivors and persons, groups and organizations that support them, including Indigenous leaders and representatives of Indigenous communities; and
(b) include, where the Chief Judge finds it appropriate, instruction in evidentiary prohibitions, principles of consent and the conduct of sexual assault proceedings, as well as education regarding myths and stereotypes associated with sexual assault complainants.
For each seminar on matters related to sexual assault law and social context offered in a year, the Chief Judge should include the following information in the annual report required under section 11.2:
(a) the title and a description of the content of the seminar;
(b) its duration;
(c) the dates on which it was offered;
(d) the number of judges who attended.
COMING INTO FORCE
This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation.