Canadian Judicial Council to take no further action on matter of Quebec Superior Court chief justice
Joyal said that attending educational programs abroad can generally be seen as a meaningful exchange of information and a positive experience. However, in certain circumstances, prior consultation with the Federal Judiciary Commissioner may offer cautionary perspectives of possible political tensions between Canada and that country and allow for a more proactive way of informing the public and the media about the nature and objectives of proposed international judicial activity.
In this case, Fournier’s prior consultation with the Commissioner would have provided useful information about the educational program and possibly had a positive impact on the perception of Fournier’s statements in the interview as “slippery and indifferent to concerns about the host country and the independence of the judiciary”. said Joyal.
Joyal dismissed the matter on the grounds that it did not warrant further consideration by the council. The matter was also referred to Gabriel Poliquin, an attorney with Caza Saikaly LLP in Ottawa, who agreed with Joyal’s decision and reasons. According to the press release, Fournier has meanwhile familiarized himself with the Council’s policy.