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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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  • 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. (en)
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dbp:caseName
  • Reference re Remuneration of Judges of the Provincial Court (en)
dbp:chiefJustice
  • Chief Justice Antonio Lamer (en)
dbp: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. (en)
dbp:decidedDate
  • 1997-09-18 (xsd:date)
dbp:dissent
dbp:fullCaseName
  • 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 (en)
dbp:heardDate
  • --12-03
dbp:joinmajority
dbp:majority
  • Chief Justice Antonio Lamer (en)
dbp:puisneJustices
dbp:ruling
  • The independence and impartiality of the judiciary is protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (en)
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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. (en)
rdfs:label
  • Reference re Remuneration of Judges of the Provincial Court (en)
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