Selection of Judges and Presiding Justices of the Peace

According to the applicable provisions (Courts of Justice Act, CQLR, c. T-16 and Regulation respecting the selection procedure of candidates for the office of judge of the Court of Québec, municipal court judge and presiding justice of the peace, CQLR, c. T-16, r. 4.1), only lawyers who have practised their profession for at least ten years may apply to fill a position of judge or presiding justice of the peace (Unless otherwise indicated by the context, the term “judge” is used in this document to refer both to judges and presiding justices of the peace of the Court of Québec) when a selection notice is published in the Journal du Barreau.


Once a notice is posted, a rigorous selection process is implemented by a committee of five people, including the Chief Judge of the Court of Québec or a judge designated by the Chief Judge. Two other members are designated by the Barreau du Québec: an advocate and a person who works in law but whose professional activities do not include representation before the courts. Two persons who are not judges or members of the Barreau du Québec or Chambre des notaires du Québec are designated by the Office des professions du Québec.


Various criteria are set out in the Act to assess a candidate’s application, including professional competencies, integrity, level-headedness, quality of expression, and level of awareness with respect to social realities.


After reviewing the applications and conducting interviews, the committee indicates, for each available position, the names of the no more than three candidates qualified to perform the duties of judge.


The Minister of Justice refers to the selection committee’s report, which contains a personalized assessment of the proposed candidates, in order to choose from among those declared fit to be appointed and submit a recommendation to Cabinet.


See also the Secrétariat à la sélection des candidats à la fonction de juge’ section of the Ministry of Justice: