Profile of the Judiciary

AuthorIan Greene
[  ]
 5
Prof‌ile of the Judiciary
Ian Greene*
     this f‌iftieth anniversary study of the federal courts
was to describe their judicial complement. e judges and prothonotaries
constitute a distinguished and diverse group with a variety of opinions about
the past and future of the two courts.
Two data sets were assembled to shed light on the current and retired
judges and prothonotaries of the Federal Court and the Federal Court of
Appeal and their observations. In the fall of , the Chief Justices of the
two courts contacted all sixty-two of the current members of their courts
(full-time, supernumerary, and prothonotaries) to explain the study, and
request their participation in two data collection exercises. Participation
involved f‌illing out a background questionnaire and being interviewed by
one of the four lead authors. e background questionnaire and the interview
questionnaire are shown in Appendix III. In addition, about twenty retired
judges were approached and asked if they would like to participate.
In the end, a total of seventy-eight current and retired judges and
prothonotaries agreed to participate, and all of them were interviewed by one
of the four lead authors of this study, most in the fall of . ese included
* I am grateful for the advice of my colleague Peter McCormick in drafting this chapter.
The large amount of data used in this chapter could not have been processed without
the expert assistance of our research assistants mentioned in the Acknowledgements.
[  ]
        
all fourteen judges sitting on the Federal Court of Appeal as of September
 (including f‌ive supernumerary judges) and ten retired judges.1 As well,
forty-two of the forty-four judges of the Federal Court who were sitting as
of September  agreed to be interviewed, including eight supernumerary
judges, as well as f‌ive retired judges. All six of the prothonotaries at that time
were interviewed, and one retired prothonotary. Altogether, of the current
judges and prothonotaries as of the fall of , sixty-two of sixty-four were
interviewed — a response rate of  percent, which means that our data repre-
sent close to a completely accurate aggregate summary of the information we
sought. ose interviewed and the interview dates are shown in Appendix II.
 5.1:  
Federal Court
of Appeal Federal Court Prothonotary Total
Current Including
14 42 6 62
Retired 10 5 1 16
Total 24 47 7 78
 5.2:   
Federal Court
of Appeal
Federal Court Prothonotary Total
Current Including
14 47 7 68
Retired 22 22 1 45
Total 36 69 8 113
Most of thos e interviewed completed the background questionnaires
we asked them to f‌ill out, but for the few whose questionnaires were not
returned, we retrieved as much background information as was available
from the web pages of the courts and other sources. In addition, our research
assistants collected background information for thirty-f‌ive additional judges
1 After our interviews were completed in the fall of 2018, Justices Locke and Mactavish
were elevated from the Federal Court to the Federal Court of Appeal. They were
coded in our data analysis as Federal Court judges, which they were at the time of the

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