Supreme Court of Canada issues statement on complaint against Justice Russell Brown

Justice Russell Brown
By the Supreme Court of Canada

Today the Canadian Judicial Council informed the public that it is reviewing a complaint about the alleged conduct of the Honourable Justice Russell Brown. The Supreme Court of Canada may now provide the following clarifications regarding the absence from the Court of Justice Brown.

On January 31, 2023, the Council notified the Right Honourable Richard Wagner, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada, of the complaint. The following day, after speaking with Justice Brown, Chief Justice Wagner put him on leave from his duties at the Supreme Court of Canada, with immediate effect, awaiting a determination of the complaint by the Council.

The Chief Justice notified the Minister of Justice of Canada of this decision without delay, as required by the Judges Act. A review of the complaint by the Council is ongoing, in accordance with the Judges Act and the relevant procedures. Under the Act and procedures, the Chief Justice of Canada does not participate in the consideration of complaints.

As an open and transparent institution, the Court continues to serve its important role in Canadian democracy and the public interest. In this regard, all necessary arrangements for the Court to continue its work seamlessly have been made, including ensuring appeals are heard, reserved judgments are rendered, and applications for leave to appeal are decided. As set out in the Supreme Court Act, the Court may sit with a minimum of five judges.

Any inquiries about the complaint against Justice Brown or the judicial conduct process should be directed to the Canadian Judicial Council.