Canada’s Next Top Judge: Solicitors Need Not Apply

Heather Douglas


Most of Canada’s legal system is rooted in the tradition of the English common law and equity law. In England there is a distinct difference between barristers and solicitors. A distinction whose remnants remain in Canada to this very day.

In England a barrister “is a member of one of the Inns of Courtand who has the privilege of pleading in the higher courts,” whereas a solicitor “advises clients on matters of law, draws up legal documents, prepares cases for barristers, etc, and who may represent clients in certain courts” (

In the End of the Charter Revolution, Peter McCormick writes that originally Supreme Court judges were…

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