Malcolm Rowe: A Brief Introduction to Canada’s Next Supreme Court Justice
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has nominated Malcolm Rowe to the Supreme Court of Canada. Should the House and Senate accept him, he will become the first Newfoundlander to serve on the SCC.
Rowe will replace Queen’s own Justice Thomas Cromwell, who retired this September.
The nomination sees the Liberal government avoid further controversy after announcing a new process for SCC appointment. The process was open to all Canadian lawyers and judges who fit the criteria and were functionally bilingual regardless of region. This risked leaving Atlantic Canada unrepresented on the bench after the retirement of Justice Cromwell.
In a statement Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “I am greatly excited to announce the nomination of Mr. Justice Malcolm Rowe, whose remarkable depth of legal experience in criminal, constitutional, and public law will complement the extensive knowledge of the other Supreme Court justices”.
In a questionnaire that is available publicly Rowe has said he is functionally bilingual. He also believes in the “living tree” constitutional doctrine. In the questionnaire Rowe said, “Judges have a role in such cases that requires them to be mindful of changes in society (often driven by technology) that can mean that to be effective regulation must be at the federal level.”
In regards to the role of the SCC Rowe said, “Rather, the role of the Court is to make definitive statements of the law which are then applied by trial judges and courts of appeal. Through the leave to appeal process, the Court chooses areas of the law in which it wishes to make a definitive statement. Thus, the Supreme Court judges ordinarily make law, rather than simply applying it.”
You can read the full questionnaire at the following link:
Vlad Krasner is the Features Editor for Juris Diction