The Ongoing Dispute between the Prime Minister’s Office and the Supreme Courtadmin / 0 Comments /
The Ongoing Dispute between the Prime Minister’s Office and the Supreme Court
The disagreements between the Supreme Court of Canada and the Prime Minister, Steven Harper seem to be showing no signs of easing up or changing. The Prime Minister has accused the high court of acting improperly and refuses to back away from these statements that have been made in very public forums.
The first problem that the Prime Minister and the Court have is the way they have conducted their disputes. Instead of keeping them behind closed doors as has been the tradition for so long, they have taken their arguments out in full view of everyone and have used the media to air their opinions about each other.
All of these disagreements are occurring at a time when the Court is set to rule on the constitutionality of several laws that have been passed by Harper’s conservative government. Two fo the laws that are being challenged include a minimum mandatory sentence for gun possession law that the court agreed to hear last month and a surcharge fee that criminals have to pay that will be used to pay restitution to the victims of crime. There are many people that are pushing the court to take on this case as well.
The differences in opinion between the court and the Prime Minister’s government are not new. The way they are being handled is what seems to be setting them apart. Back in October, the high court’s voiding of a court appointment has drawn criticism from the Chief Justice Beverly McLachin. The comments have been published by the media. McLachin also tried to contact the Prime Minister about these statements, but that attempt was rebuffed by the Prime Minister’s Office and dismissed as being inappropriate. Not everyone agrees with the prime Minister that this attempt to contact was really inappropriate.
The Bar Association and the Advocates Society have both come out and said that the comments that have been made by the Prime Minister’s office about this incident are unfounded. The Bar Association represents 37,000 layers and judges and the Advocates Society promotes professionalism in the justice system.
Further complicating the issue is the fact that Justice McLachin says the comments that are being attributed to her are not true. She says that she did not lobby against the appointment of John Nadon that is said to be the basis of the conflict that is occurring. She claims that she tried to contact the office of the Prime Minister before the selection process had begun and that she did not make any statements afterwards.
It is difficult for many people to understand why this dispute continues on. It would seem that the things that may or may not have said are minor and should not cause tow people in a high position to continue to quarrel needlessly. Many people believe that these two are acting more like children and that they need to find a way to mend the fences and to end the arguments that re occurring. If they are not able to do this, the amount of trust that people have in both the court and the government will continue to decrease.