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Bill C-5

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First Session, Forty-third Parliament,
68 Elizabeth II, 2019-2020
HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA
BILL C-5
An Act to amend the Judges Act and the Criminal Code
FIRST READING, February 4, 2020
MINISTER OF JUSTICE
90910


SUMMARY

This enactment amends the Judges Act to restrict eligibility for judicial appointment to persons who undertake to participate in continuing education on matters related to sexual assault law and social context. It also amends the Judges Act to require that the Canadian Judicial Council report on seminars offered for the continuing education of judges on matters related to sexual assault law. Finally, it amends the Criminal Code to require that judges provide reasons for decisions in sexual assault proceedings.
Available on the House of Commons website at the following address:
www.ourcommons.ca


1st Session, 43rd Parliament,
68 Elizabeth II, 2019-2020
HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA
BILL C-5
An Act to amend the Judges Act and the Criminal Code

Preamble
Whereas survivors of sexual assault in Canada must have faith in the criminal justice system;

Whereas Parliament recognizes the importance of an independent judiciary;
Whereas parliamentarians have a responsibility to ensure that Canada’s democratic institutions reflect the values and principles of Canadians and respond to their needs and concerns;
Whereas sexual assault proceedings have a profound effect on the reputations and lives of the persons affected and present a high possibility of revictimizing survivors of sexual assault;
Whereas problematic interpretations of the law may arise in sexual assault proceedings;
Whereas Parliament recognizes the value and importance of judges participating in continuing education;
Whereas it is imperative that persons seeking to be appointed to the judiciary undertake to participate in continuing education on matters related to sexual assault law and social context;
Whereas Parliament wishes to be made aware of seminars offered to federally appointed judges on matters related to sexual assault law and of judges’ participation in the seminars;
And whereas reasons for decisions in sexual assault proceedings enhance the transparency and accountability of the judiciary;
Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
R.‍S.‍, c. J-1

Judges Act

1992, c. 51, s. 3
1(1)The portion of section 3 of the French version of the Judges Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:
Appartenance au barreau
3Peuvent seules être nommées juges d’une juridiction supérieure d’une province, si elles remplissent par ailleurs les conditions légales, les personnes qui, à la fois :
1996, c. 22, s. 2
(2)Paragraphs 3(a) and (b) of the Act are replaced by the following:
(a)is a barrister or advocate of at least 10 years’ standing at the bar of any province or has, for an aggregate of at least 10 years,
(i)been a barrister or advocate at the bar of any province, and
(ii)after becoming a barrister or advocate at the bar of any province, exercised powers and performed duties and functions of a judicial nature on a full-time basis in respect of a position held under a law of Canada or a province; and
(b)undertakes to participate in continuing education on matters related to sexual assault law and social context, including by attending seminars established under paragraph 60(2)‍(b).
2(1)Paragraph 60(2)‍(b) of the Act is replaced by the following:
(b)establish seminars for the continuing education of judges, including seminars on matters related to sexual assault law and social context;
(2)Section 60 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (2):
Seminars related to sexual assault law
(3)The Council shall ensure that seminars on matters related to sexual assault law established under paragraph (2)‍(b)
(a)are developed after consultation with persons, groups or organizations the Council considers appropriate, such as sexual assault survivors and groups and organizations that support them; and
(b)include instruction in evidentiary prohibitions, principles of consent and the conduct of sexual assault proceedings, as well as education regarding myths and stereotypes associated with sexual assault complainants.
3The Act is amended by adding the following after section 62:
Report — seminars
62.‍1(1)Within 60 days after the end of each calendar year, the Council shall submit to the Minister a report on the seminars referred to in paragraph 60(2)‍(b) on matters related to sexual assault law that were offered in the preceding calendar year. The report must include the following information:
(a)the title and a description of the content of each seminar, its duration and the dates on which it was offered; and
(b)the number of judges who attended each seminar.
Tabling of report
(2)The Minister shall cause a copy of the report to be tabled in each House of Parliament on any of the first 10 days on which that House is sitting after the Minister receives the report.
R.‍S.‍, c. C-46

Criminal Code

4The Criminal Code is amended by adding the following after section 278.‍97:
Reasons
278.‍98(1)In proceedings in respect of an offence under section 151, 152, 153, 153.‍1 or 155, subsection 160(2) or (3) or section 170, 171, 172, 173, 271, 272 or 273, the judge shall provide reasons for a decision that a person is
(a)acquitted;
(b)found guilty;
(c)discharged, after having been found guilty;
(d)found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder; or
(e)found unfit to stand trial.
Historical offences
(2)Subsection (1) also applies in proceedings for any offence under this Act, as it read from time to time before the day on which this section comes into force, if the conduct alleged would be an offence referred to in subsection (1) if it occurred on or after that day.
Record of reasons
(3)The reasons shall be entered in the record of the proceedings or, if the proceedings are not recorded, shall be provided in writing.
Proceedings before judge
(4)This section applies only in proceedings before a judge without a jury.
Published under authority of the Speaker of the House of Commons



explanatory notes

Judges Act
Clause 1: (1) and (2)Existing text of section 3:
3No person is eligible to be appointed a judge of a superior court in any province unless, in addition to any other requirements prescribed by law, that person
(a)is a barrister or advocate of at least ten years standing at the bar of any province; or
(b)has, for an aggregate of at least ten years,
(i)been a barrister or advocate at the bar of any province, and
(ii)after becoming a barrister or advocate at the bar of any province, exercised powers and performed duties and functions of a judicial nature on a full-time basis in respect of a position held pursuant to a law of Canada or a province.
Clause 2: (1)Relevant portion of subsection 60(2):
(2)In furtherance of its objects, the Council may
.‍.‍. 
(b)establish seminars for the continuing education of judges;
(2)New.
Clause 3:New.
Criminal Code
Clause 4:New.

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