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BC Law Society expresses concern over prime minister's comments

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Concern from the Law Society of BC over Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s recent comments about the country’s top judge. Harper called Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLaughlin‘s actions in advising his office about concerns for the choice of Federal Court of Appeal judge improper. She warned the Prime Minister his choice for Federal Court of Appeal judge, Marc Nadon, might not fit legal criteria for appointees.

BC Law Society President Jan Lindsay says her organization, as well as other legal bodies, are standing behind McLachlin. “The law society has complete confidence in the integrity and conduct of the chief justice, and stresses that our system of government can only operate effectively if each branch of government is respectful in its dealings with the other branches.”

Part of the concern, according to Lindsay is the potential for Harper’s suggestion McLachlin acted inappropriately to undermine public confidence in the courts. “Our system of government depends on an independent judiciary, that is entitled to and deserving of respect from the other branches of government,” says Lindsay.

She adds since judges are generally unable to give interviews or comment publicly, the legal profession needs to support them against unjust criticism and complaint.