April 2, 1918 (13th Parliament, 1st Session)

UNION

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Unionist

Mr. DOHERTY:

The purpose of the
measure which is intended to be based on this resolution is to obviate an inconvenience that has arisen at different times in the past, and that presents itself perhaps, [DOT]more acutely at the present moment. As the members of the House are aware, a quorum of the Supreme Court consists of five of its members. Whenever by reason of circumstances it is not possible to unite such a number of the members of the court, while it is still possible for the court to proceed with four members only, the result of such a proceeding is not found [DOT]to be satisfactory in practice. That litigants reaching a court of ultimate appeal should find themselves face to face with a court so constituted that it may possibly divide evenly, with the result either that the judgment appealed from may be con-
side red standing or affirmed, or a rehearing be ordered is obviously not desirable. The purpose of this measure is to make it possible, when by reason of illness, .uinavoid-able absenoe, or other sufficient cause, five judges are not available for the holding of . the term, for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Co.urt or the senior puisne judge, in his absence, to call an ad hoc judge to fill the place of the judge who may be prevented from taking part in the sittings of the court by any of the causes which 1 have mentioned. This power, I think I can safely say, is vested in the Chief Justice of all the provincial courts; certainly that is the case in the province from which I come. We propose to empower the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or, in his absence, the senior puisne judge, to call in as an ad hoc judge first the judge of the Exchequer court, or if that judge for any reason should not be available, then a judge of the superior court of any province.
M>r. LEMIEUX: Any of the judges of
the Exchequer Court?

Topic:   SUPREME COURT ACT AMENDMENT.
Subtopic:   AD HOC JUDGE.
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