Government backs down on attempt to force judges to disclose individual expenses
OTTAWA — The government has backed down on a plan to force federally-appointed judges to disclose their individual expenses, a move judges had warned was unconstitutional and would undermine the public’s confidence in the judiciary. The committee then amended Bill C-58 to propose that judicial expenses would instead be lumped together by court and reported in the aggregate. Those same organizations had earlier urged the House of Commons justice committee to make changes to the legislation, but the Liberal-dominated committee was unmoved. “The operations of the courts and administration of judicial expenses are not immune from these expectations (of transparency), nor should they be,” Lametti told senators. They also warned that any requirement for individual disclosure would be immediately challenged in the courts as unconstitutional for violating judicial independence.