Supreme Court hearing on Marc Nadon: 6 questions

Canada’s top court judges heard arguments about the appointment of Justice Marc Nadon to the Supreme Court of Canada on Wednesday, and their decision will ultimately reflect on the process of selecting judges and the choice of the prime minister.

The hearing wrapped up shortly after 3 p.m. ET, and the court reserved its decision for a later date.

Nadon, a 64-year-old former Federal Court of Appeal judge, was appointed to represent Quebec in the nine-person Supreme Court in October. However, Nadon almost immediately stepped aside because of a legal challenge about his qualifications.

 “it could do away with the requirement that appointees to the court be lawyers.”

This unprecedented event came about because a Toronto lawyer, Rocco Galati, formally challenged Nadon’s appointment on the grounds that it violates the rules about selecting Quebec judges for the top court.

Galati, better known for specializing in terrorism cases, contended that because Nadon was a Federal Court judge he is not qualified to be one of the three Quebec judges on the land’s highest court as mandated by the constitution. Quebec judges are a special category because of the province’s unique civil legal code, different from the common-law code in the rest of the country.

In response to Galati’s challenge, the federal government submitted a reference to the Supreme Court about Nadon’s appointment.

Galati was given intervenor status, as were Ontario and Quebec and the Toronto-based Centre for Constitutional Rights.


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This content has been updated on August 23, 2014 at 12:19.