Me Norman Sabourin.  Photo: Radio-Canada


Me Norman Sabourin. Photo: Radio-Canada

The Canadian Judicial Council (CJC) announced on Thursday the retirement of its director Me Norman Sabourin “After 16 years of dedicated service to the judiciary, which included preparing for the renewal of the Council”.

“The Board would like to thank Me Sabourin for his contribution and wish him the best of success in his future endeavors,” added the CCM’s press release.

Founded in 1971, the Canadian Judicial Council has 41 members chaired by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada Richard wagner. The CJC is responsible for improving efficiency and consistency in the administration of justice in the superior courts of Canada and for handling complaints against federal judges.

Its director Me Norman Sabourin had already been on extended leave for over a year.

In 2018, Mr. Sabourin publicly rebuked a respected judge of the Superior Court of Ontario without a prior complaint, recalls CBC. The director of the CCM criticized the judge Patrick smith for accepting a temporary and volunteer dean position at a Thunday Bay law school. However, Judge Smith had obtained permission from his superiors.

The proceedings against Justice Smith had provoked the ire of Ontario judges and lawyers. A Federal Court judgment later exonerated Justice Smith and blamed the Judicial Council.

Under the direction of Me Sabourin, the CCM had previously argued that the courts had no power to review its disciplinary decisions.

The situation made Chief Justice Richard Wagner say in 2019 that the CJC was in dire need of internal and legislative reform, and in particular on the side of the role of executive director.

No replacement has been announced for the post of Director.