Prime minister to announce 2 Supreme Court nominees
Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife, CTV News
Published Sunday, October 16, 2011 10:15PM EDT
Prime Minister Stephen Harper will name two judges from the Ontario Court of Appeal to Canada's highest court Monday, CTV News has learned.
Sources say that after extensive consultations, Harper has chosen Justice Andromache Karakatsanis and Justice Michael J. Moldaver to fill two vacancies on the Supreme Court of Canada.
Karakatsanis is considered a judicial moderate and had also been considered for chief justice of the Ontario Court of Appeal. She was a former top public servant in Ontario before Jean Chretien named her to the bench in 2002.
Moldaver is a former defence lawyer who has expressed concern that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is often being used to evade convictions for serious crimes. He was named to the bench by Brian Mulroney and promoted to the Ontario Court of Appeal by Jean Chretien.
A government official told CTV News that the justices have top-class legal minds and are eminently-qualified for the Supreme Court.
During the federal election campaign, Harper spoke about what he looks for in justices.
"We will pick people as we've done in the past, people we think are strong, independent legal minds," Harper said on April 25.
"What you are looking for is record, experience and judgment. A judicial temperament. These people will sit on the bench a long time. So we will choose very carefully."
Karakatsanis is bilingual and has a long record of public service, having served as deputy attorney general and secretary to cabinet and clerk of the executive council.
Moldaver is a recognized expert in criminal law and has also been a trial judge.
The justice department consulted the legal community for a list of qualified candidates.
The names were submitted to an all-party committee of MPs, and the list was whittled down to six unanimous choices.
Karakatsanis and Moldaver were on the final list submitted to Harper.