About Judicial Conduct

Every year Canada’s federally-appointed Justices make hundreds of thousands of decisions on matters that range from procedural questions to the most basic interests of those appearing before them.

When one side or the other in a legal dispute thinks that the Judge has come to the wrong decision, our system of justice allows that person to appeal the decision to a higher Court. Appeal Courts can reverse or vary decisions of other Judges.

However, the fact that an appeal Court has overturned a Judge’s decision does not mean that the Judge’s conduct or behaviour was improper.

Whether Judges are correct or incorrect in their decisions, a high standard of professional conduct is expected of them. When someone believes that a Judge’s conduct or behaviour is of serious concern, or that a Judge is not fit to be on the bench, our system of justice allows that person recourse. In this case, if the Judge sits on Nova Scotia's Court of Appeal or Supreme Court, he/she can file a complaint with the CANADIAN JUDICIAL COUNCIL >>


There is a difference between
the "DECISION" of a Judge and
the "CONDUCT" of a Judge

Examples of judicial misconduct include:
~ gender or racial bias
~ conflict of interest with one of the parties
~ neglect of duty

A Judge's Decision vs. A Judge's Conduct

If you disagree with a Judge's "DECISION", you may appeal it to a higher Court.
When one side or the other in a legal dispute thinks the Judge has made a wrong decision, they may ask a higher Court to review that decision. This appeal Court may or may not reverse the first Judge’s decision. However, if the appeal Court does overturn a Judge’s decision, it does not mean that the Judge’s conduct or behaviour was improper.

If you are concerned about a Judge's "CONDUCT", you may file a complaint.
In Nova Scotia, if you have a complaint about the conduct of a Court of Appeal Justice or a Supreme Court Justice - inside or outside the courtroom - you may submit a written complaint.


How Do I Complain...?

The process involved in filing a complaint against a federally-appointed Justice is explained on the NEXT PAGE >>

For information about the conduct of provincially-appointed Judges, CLICK HERE >>


The information on this page has been reproduced with the permission of the Canadian Judicial Council. Colour brochures
titled "The Conduct of Judges and the Role of the Canadian Judicial Council" and "Ethical Principles for Judges"
and other information can be downloaded from the website of the CANADIAN JUDICIAL COUNCIL >>