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The Reference re Remuneration of Judges of the Provincial Court (P.E.I.) [1997] 3 S.C.R. 3 is a leading opinion of the Supreme Court of Canada in response to a reference question regarding remuneration and the independence and impartiality of provincial court judges. Notably, the majority opinion found all judges are independent, not just superior court judges and inferior court judges concerned with criminal law, as the written constitution stipulates. Unwritten constitutional principles were relied upon to demonstrate this, indicating such principles were growing in importance in constitutional interpretation. The reference also remains one of the most definitive statements on the extent to which all judges in Canada are protected by the Constitution.

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  • Reference re Remuneration of Judges of the Provincial Court
rdfs:comment
  • The Reference re Remuneration of Judges of the Provincial Court (P.E.I.) [1997] 3 S.C.R. 3 is a leading opinion of the Supreme Court of Canada in response to a reference question regarding remuneration and the independence and impartiality of provincial court judges. Notably, the majority opinion found all judges are independent, not just superior court judges and inferior court judges concerned with criminal law, as the written constitution stipulates. Unwritten constitutional principles were relied upon to demonstrate this, indicating such principles were growing in importance in constitutional interpretation. The reference also remains one of the most definitive statements on the extent to which all judges in Canada are protected by the Constitution.
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citations
  • [1997] 3 S.C.R. 3; 1997 CanLII 317 ;, [1998] 156 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 1; , 150 D.L.R. 577; [1997] 10 W.W.R. 417.
majority
  • Chief Justice Antonio Lamer
case-name
  • Reference re Remuneration of Judges of the Provincial Court
Chief Justice
  • Chief Justice Antonio Lamer
decided-date
full-case-name
  • Reference re Remuneration of Judges of the Provincial Court of Prince Edward Island; Reference re Independence and Impartiality of Judges of the Provincial Court of Prince Edward Island
heard-date
  • --12-03
puisne-justices
ruling
  • The independence and impartiality of the judiciary is protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms
has abstract
  • The Reference re Remuneration of Judges of the Provincial Court (P.E.I.) [1997] 3 S.C.R. 3 is a leading opinion of the Supreme Court of Canada in response to a reference question regarding remuneration and the independence and impartiality of provincial court judges. Notably, the majority opinion found all judges are independent, not just superior court judges and inferior court judges concerned with criminal law, as the written constitution stipulates. Unwritten constitutional principles were relied upon to demonstrate this, indicating such principles were growing in importance in constitutional interpretation. The reference also remains one of the most definitive statements on the extent to which all judges in Canada are protected by the Constitution. The majority opinion established that independent compensation commissions are required to help set salaries free of political manipulation. These commissions, described by the majority as "an institutional sieve" and by the dissent as "a virtual fourth branch of government", make recommendations that governments may deviate from only with rational explanations. However, the reference has been subject to harsh published criticisms.
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