Two Supreme Court judges announce retirement

An article in the Globe and Mail today: “The Supreme Court of Canada is facing a significant “void” as two of its judges – Mr. Justice Ian Binnie and Madam Justice Louise Charron – announced their impending retirements.

In a release from the court Friday, Madam Justice Beverley McLachlin announced that Justice Charron’s retirement will be effective August 30, 2011, with Justice Binnie’s scheduled for the same day.”

A private-member’s bill last year requiring Supreme Court judges to be proficient in both French and English did not pass last year, so Prime Minister Harper is likely to be sensitive to how easily the issue could flair up in Quebec if he were to make a false move.

If Judge Charron’s replacement is a woman, strong consideration is likely to be given to Madam Justice Eleanore Cronk, Madam Justice Eileen Gillese and Madam Justice Gloria Epstein.

There will be pressure on Mr. Harper and Justice Minister Rob Nicholson to replace Judge Binnie with a practising lawyer; a niche that many regard as critically important in order to keep the court current with the realities of law on the ground.