Mr. T. L. CHURCH (Broadview) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 61, to amend the Judges Act.
He said: Mr. Speaker, this bill contains
two sections, the first of which has to do with the use of federal judges on royal commissions. The frequency, in recent years, with which judges are drafted for all kinds of such work impairs the efficient administration of justice and causes congestion in the law courts, and as they are largely only factfinding commissions when appointed they duplicate the efficient powers and functions
of parliament, of the committees thereof, and of the many outside boards of recent innovation in war work, and furthermore they are a costly adjunct to good parliamentary government of the people, by the people and for the people, cause delays and interfere with parliament's right to immediate solution of social and economic problems of urgency to good government, thus a system of "judicial commission government" is slowly being built up in Canada.
The second section adds to the act a provision under which judges are to be bound by the decision of the court of final appeal, in respect to any question of law competent for such judges to decide, and shall take notice and be bound by the then last decision or judgment of the judicial committee of the provincial, or other court of final appeal rendered by such court upon or with respect to such application of law. This amendment is to apply to all the provinces of Canada. Federal authority should be paramount and supreme. One of the cardinal principles of the British constitution is that the courts are subservient to the legislature.
The legal maxim or doctrine known as stare decisis is overruled where inconsistent to this amendment and this bill will be law for all Canada, notwithstanding the provisions of any law, statute, usage, custom, or doctrine of law to the contrary. Judges are federal as well as provincial officers, although the provinces have jurisdiction over the constitution of the courts.
Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.