Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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Kim Campbell
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Right Hon. Kim Campbell
2019-07-25 11:57
That is an important question. All of the candidates do have references that we consult. One of the things we ask about is how collegial they are in working together.
I can give you an example from the very first iteration. When we asked the successful candidate, who is now Justice Malcolm Rowe, how do you do this, what is your approach, he made a very interesting comment—and I hope I'm not breaching confidentiality when I say this because he's already there. He said he could put a lot of water into his wine and had no pride of authorship. I thought that was a very specific and powerful way of explaining his approach when he wants to get to some place. The important thing is what the fundamental idea is that you want to see in the decision, and then you see how much water you need to put in your wine or perhaps allow someone else to have the honour of writing the opinion, if it's the opinion that you agree is good enough. He was basically saying that he was not an egomaniac and that he understood what's important and what isn't.
When we ask candidates about their approach, they are often very revealing, and I hope Justice Rowe isn't cranky at me for saying that. That's the kind of thing we look for: What has been your experience and how have you approached it? For many of them, they have a lot of experience in this area, which is one of the reasons why judges who have already served on an appellate court have a clear understanding of what that question means.
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