Secrecy: Supreme Court Puts 50-Year Embargo On Judge Deliberation Records

They can go even further, and hide their deliberations from Canadians forever.

Canada’s governance has become even less transparent.

The Supreme Court of Canada has placed a 50-year embargo on judge deliberation records, and can even move to hide those deliberations forever.

According to the Globe & Mail, “The restriction took effect last June when the court and Library and Archives Canada announced it as part of an agreement to “ensure that the case files of Canada’s highest court will be preserved and accessible to future generations.” (The announcement went largely unnoticed at the time.) What the court and the archives did not say, but the agreement makes clear, is that the Supreme Court can withdraw the files at any time, and keep the documents secret forever, without providing a justification.”

Notice the usual government tactic of saying the exact opposite of what’s really happening. They somehow try to claim that keeping records secret makes them “accessible to future generations.”


Here’s a question: Isn’t the Supreme Court of Canada supposed to work for us?

How can they have the right to hide their deliberations for 50-years by default, and forever if they so choose?

That totally goes against the idea of a system of government that is democratic and accountable, and it’s part of a disturbing trend towards less and less democracy.

While the government is supposed to serve the people, it seems that at all levels, whether legislative, executive, or judicial, those at the top see us as their powerless subjects, and feel no obligation to share the information we are supposed to have access to.

Spencer Fernando

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