Thursday, May 22, 2008

Quebec Assembly: Supreme Court of Canada Judges Must Be Fluent in French

The Montreal Gazette reports on a resolution adopted by the National Assembly, Quebec's provincial legislature, calling on the Prime Minister to ensure that any Judge appointed to Canada's Supreme Court be fluent in French:

The National Assembly adopted a unanimous resolution yesterday affirming that the mastery of French is an essential prerequisite for the naming of judges to the Supreme Court of Canada.

The motion comes in reaction to reports Michel Basterache, the retiring New Brunswick justice, who is fluent in the language of Molière, could be replaced by a judge who does not speak French. At the suggestion of Premier Jean Charest, the motion will be sent to the House of Commons...

"The message we are sending today to the federal government is that it is not optional when a Supreme Court judge is named," Charest added, saying that this doesn't just apply to Quebec, but to the Acadian and francophone societies across Canada.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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