The website of the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs Canada states that the office was established in 1978, but gives no reference to the statutory provision that establishes it.

What is the legal basis for this office to exist, ie. what is the Act of Parliament or similar legislation that created this organization?

I don't believe there is an Act that creates this office, as I cannot find any such act. As far as I can tell, this office is not lawful.

  • Is there a particular reason that you want to know? Does this impact something?
    – ohwilleke
    Sep 19, 2023 at 17:32
  • Absolutely, there is a reason. It impacts something of national importance. This question is kept narrow and focused, so that it can be answerable. Wading into the larger reasons and importance would unfocus the question. I have noted your implicit objection, thanks. Sep 19, 2023 at 17:44
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    @ohwilleke I would be happy to discuss the entire topic in another forum, but I don't believe the discussion would be well placed under this question. Sep 19, 2023 at 17:45
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    Often the reason it is important influences the answer. For example, in some circumstances, it would be important to see if there was a predecessor office that carried out the function that the 1978 Act's office duties that matter. Or maybe the effective date of the Act is what is important to see if a commissioner was lawfully appointed and hence if actions taken by the commissioner were valid. Or maybe there is specific language in the act that matters for an incident today, in which case later amendments would matter and it might be necessary to review more than one piece of legislation.
    – ohwilleke
    Sep 19, 2023 at 17:51
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    "I don't believe there is an Act that creates this office, as I cannot find any such act. As far as I can tell, this office is not lawful." Ah! This is very helpful information in looking for an answer.
    – ohwilleke
    Sep 19, 2023 at 18:06

1 Answer 1


See the Judges Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. J-1, ss. 73, 74:

73 There shall be an officer, called the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs, who shall have the rank and status of a deputy head of a department and who shall be appointed by the Governor in Council after consultation by the Minister with the Council or such committee thereof as is named for the purpose by the Council.

This section can be traced back to An Act to amend the Judges Act and other Acts in respect of judicial matters, S.C. 1976-77, c. 25, s. 17 (Royal Assent on June 29, 1977). It was brought into force on January 16, 1978, by a proclamation of the Queen made on December 15, 1977.

That amending act initially inserted the provision creating the office of the Commissioner at what was then s. 44 of the Judges Act. It was repositioned to its current location at s. 73 during the 1985 revision project.

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    Thank you @Jen for the straight and to the point answer. I also learnt from your answer how I could have better researched the question myself, so double thanks for that! I would like to further ask what legislation created the judicial advisory committees that the Commissioner office manages. Would it be fair to make that a separate question standing on its own, rather than an addition to this question? Sep 19, 2023 at 19:57
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    @JaredoMills A separate question.
    – ohwilleke
    Sep 19, 2023 at 20:04

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