Provincial Government Working to Recruit More Judges from Indigenous and Diverse Communities

August 11, 2017

Information from a Government of Ontario news release: Ontario is working to promote greater diversity and improve gender balance in appointments to the Ontario Court of Justice.

Working with the Ontario Court of Justice and the Ministry of the Attorney General, the province's independent Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee (JAAC) is taking steps to encourage legal professionals from diverse communities to apply to become judges, including:

  • Changing the judicial application form to include an option to self-identify as Indigenous, belonging to a racialized community or other ethnic or cultural group, a person with a disability, LGBTQ2+, or by gender
  • Increasing outreach, advertising and informational sessions to law associations and students across the province to reach a wider and more diverse audience
  • Participating in a roundtable with representatives from the bar and federal government on increasing the diversity in provincial and federal judicial appointments
  • Collecting race-based data on judicial applicants and new appointments to strengthen future reporting on diversity.

In addition, the committee is consulting with the Ontario Human Rights Commission to strengthen committee member training and education to ensure that the process of recruitment of new judges addresses possible systemic barriers.

The province's independent Justices of the Peace Appointments Advisory Committee (JPAAC) will be amending the justice of the peace application form to include the same option for applicants to self-identify by this fall.

Building on the work of Ontario's anti-racism strategic plan, increasing diversity in appointments to the province's courts seeks to break down barriers for Indigenous peoples, racialized groups, Francophone communities, women and other minority communities across the province.

Read more: Provincial Government Working to Recruit More Judges from Indigenous and Diverse Communities