Policy of the Justices of the Peace Review Council
Re: Extra-Remunerative Work
Criteria & Procedure for Approval
1. Effective January 1, 2007, all justices of the peace, whether presiding or non-presiding, are required to seek the written approval of the existing Justices of the Peace Review Council before accepting or engaging in any extra-remunerative work, in accordance with section 19 of the Justices of the Peace Act, as amended January 1, 2007.
s. 19; subs. 8(2)(e)
2. All such applications to the Justices of the Peace Review Council will be considered by the Review Council at the earliest possible opportunity and the justice of the peace will be advised of its decision, in writing.
3. An application for such approval must be made by the justice of the peace to the Justices of the Peace Review Council, in writing, prior to accepting or engaging in other extra-remunerative work and must set out a detailed explanation of the activity for which approval is sought, an estimate of the time commitment required and the amount of the remuneration. The applicant must also address in his or her letter each of the criteria indicated below that will be considered by the Review Council.
4. This application must be accompanied by a letter from the relevant Regional Senior Justice of the Peace providing his or her opinion with respect to any concerns about potential impacts related to scheduling and the applicant’s assignment of duties.
5. The Council looks at two aspects in relation to remuneration associated with the work. Firstly, the Council considers whether the work gives rise to any remuneration to the applicant justice of the peace. Secondly, the Council considers that a justice of the peace is engaged in extra-remunerative work when that justice of the peace is a party to someone else’s remunerative work. Once the Council has established whether there is any remuneration, the policy and criteria set out in the Council’s Extra-Remunerative Policy are considered.
6. The following are some of the criteria which should be addressed by the applicant in the letter of application and which will be considered by the Review Council in assessing whether or not approval will be granted:
a) whether there is an actual, or perceived, conflict of interest between the duties as assigned and the extra-remunerative activity for which approval is sought;
(examples of potential conflict of interest include: employment by government in any capacity related to the administration of justice, the courts or corrections, engagement in the practice of law, employment in a legal clinic or a law firm, etc.)
b) whether the nature of the activity for which the justice of the peace seeks approval will present an intrusive demand on the time, availability or energy of the justice of the peace and his or her ability to properly perform the judicial duties assigned;
c) whether the activity for which the justice of the peace seeks approval is a seemly or appropriate activity in which a judicial officer should engage, having regard to the public perceptions of judicial demeanour, independence and impartiality.
The Council has noted that the criterion in paragraph c) above must be understood in the context of the public policy encapsulated in the legislative framework set out in the Justices of the Peace Act R.S.O. 1990, c. J.4, as amended and, in particular, in view of the amendments that resulted from the Access to Justice Act, 2006, S.O. 2006, c. 21. The amendments brought about a comprehensive reform intended to strengthen public confidence in a professional bench and in the justice system.
Having carefully considered the public policy underlying the current legislative framework, the objectives of the amendments underlying the Access to Justice Act, 2006, and the Principles of Judicial Office of Justices of the Peace of the Ontario Court of Justice, the Review Council has determined that it would in general be unseemly for full-time presiding justices of the peace to be engaged in commercial extra-remunerative work.
The Review Council has approved some applications to extra-remunerative work by full-time presiding justices of the peace on an exceptional basis in limited circumstances where the activity was primarily non-commercial and had other intrinsic value from an educational, patriotic, religious or creative standpoint. In accordance with the Council’s procedures, an applicant who seeks approval to engage in commercial activity should address the issue of why the application for extra-remunerative work should be approved as an exception to the general policy that full-time presiding justices of the peace should not engage in extra-remunerative work that is commercial in nature.
7. If upon its review of the application, the Review Council is not satisfied that there is sufficient information, the Review Council may request such additional information as the Review Council may deem necessary and relevant, including information from the justice of the peace, the Regional Senior Justice of the Peace or any other person.
Approval of Application without Conditions
8. If, upon its review of the application and any additional material, the Review Council is satisfied that there is sufficient information to approve the application, without conditions, the Review Council will approve the application. The applicant justice of the peace will be advised in writing of the decision of the Review Council, including brief reasons for the decision.
Opportunity to Respond to Concerns
9. If, upon its review of the application and any additional information, the Review Council has concerns about granting the application, the Review Council will provide a letter to the applicant justice of the peace setting out its concerns. The Review Council may also suggest conditions of approval to address those concerns.
10. The justice of the peace will be given an opportunity to respond to the concerns of the Review Council and to respond to any suggested conditions by sending submissions in writing to the Review Council. If the justice of the peace agrees with the conditions, he or she should respond to the Review Council confirming his or her agreement with the approval being contingent upon the conditions.
11. The justice of the peace will be given thirty calendar days to respond from the date of the letter from the Review Council expressing its concerns. If a response is not received from the applicant justice of the peace within that time, the Review Council members considering the request will be notified and a reminder letter will be sent to the justice of the peace. If no response is received within ten calendar days from the date of the reminder letter, the Review Council will proceed in the absence of a response.
12. The Review Council will consider the response of the justice of the peace, if any, in making its decision. The justice of the peace will be advised in writing of the Review Council’s approval of the application and of the conditions, if any, upon which the approval is contingent. In the alternative, the justice of the peace will be advised in writing that the request has not been approved. Brief reasons will be provided for the decision.
No Authority to Order Compensation for Legal Costs
13. The Review Council does not have legislative authority to recommend or order compensation for costs of legal services incurred as a result of an application for extra-remunerative work.
Application Process in Private
14. Any meeting of the Review Council regarding applications for extra-remunerative work shall be conducted in private. Pursuant to section 8(18) of the Justices of the Peace Act, the Review Council has ordered that any information or documents relating to any meeting of the Review Council to consider an application to engage in extra-remunerative work are confidential and shall not be disclosed or made public.
Quorum of Review Council
15. The usual rules for composition and quorum apply to meetings for the purposes of considering applications for extra-remunerative work. The Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice, or in his or her absence, the Associate Chief Justice Co-ordinator of Justices of the Peace, shall chair meetings held for the purposes of considering applications for extra-remunerative work. Six members of the Review Council, including the chair, constitute a quorum for the purposes of dealing with an application for approval of extra-remunerative work. At least half of the members present must be judges or justices of the peace. The chair is entitled to vote, and may cast a second deciding vote if there is a tie.
subs. 8(7),(8) and (11)
16. After the end of each year, the Review Council shall make an annual report to the Attorney General on its affairs including a summary of each application for approval of extra-remunerative work received or dealt with during the year and the decision of the Review Council, but the report shall not include information that might identify the justice of the peace or the Region in which he or she presides.
Amended at Toronto, June 4, 2010
Justices of the Peace Review Council
P. O. Box 914
Adelaide St. Postal Stn.
31 Adelaide Street East
Toronto, Ontario M5C 2K3
Telephone: 416 – 327-5746
Facsimile: 416 – 327-2339