"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Jerome Kennedy, Great Lawyer™ (II)

The Justice Minister's appearance before the Senate Legal Affairs Committee yesterday could generate months worth of blog twittering... and probably will.

An appetizer:
I read Senator Joyal's comments about judges being the most respected individuals by the Canadian public, but all officials have to have a degree of accountability. In Newfoundland and Labrador, we have gone through the MHA spending scandal, and the concepts of openness, transparency accountability are predominant in everything we do. I looked this up, and I will give you some statistics. It is startling to me. I found some numbers on the judicial council, because once they are appointed, once the appointment has taken place, then the process of judicial independence, the principle, means we cannot interfere. As the Minister of Justice, I cannot tell judges what to do. I learned the hard way recently. In Newfoundland and Labrador, there was quite a backlash when the premier and I made comments — well, I supported the premier's comments — about an inquiry. That was seen as interfering with the function of the inquiry, and I have to say there was quite a public backlash.
As the Good Minister notes, he "was a criminal defence lawyer for 20 years prior to becoming Minister of Justice, so excuse me if that line between law and politics is still somewhat blurred."

And yet, he only "learned", and "recently", the "startling" concept of judicial independence?


And lookie — NTV has quantified that "backlash".


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