BILL 65

An Act to Amend the Judicature Act

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick, enacts as follows:

1 Section 1 of the Judicature Act, chapter J-2 of the Revised Statutes, 1973, is amended in the definition "judge" by striking out "Chief Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench" and substituting "Chief Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench, any Associate Chief Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench".

2 Section 2 of the Act is amended

(a) in subsection (3) by striking out "twenty-one other judges" and substituting "not more than twenty-five other judges";

(b) by adding after subsection (3) the following:

2(3.1) The Court of Queen's Bench may include one or two Associate Chief Justices who shall be counted in the number of judges authorized under subsection (3).

(c) by repealing subsection (4.1) and substituting the following:

2(4.1) Of the judges of the Court of Queen's Bench, at least ten shall be judges of the Family Division.

3 Section 4 of the Act is amended

(a) by repealing subsection (1) and substituting the following:

4(1) At least one judge of the Family Division or the Trial Division of the Court of Queen's Bench shall reside in each of the following municipalities or within an area of fifty kilometres from the municipality:

(a) The City of Saint John;

(b) The City of Fredericton;

(c) Moncton;

(d) Edmundston;

(e) City of Bathurst;

(f) City of Campbellton;

(g) Miramichi;

(h) Woodstock.

(b) by repealing subsection (1.1).

4 The Act is amended by adding after section 7.1 the following:

7.2(1) Subject to any other Act or the Rules of Court, a judge shall deliver his or her judgment in any cause or matter within six months after hearing it.

7.2(2) At the request of a judge, the Chief Justice may, in his or her discretion, after hearing a satisfactory explanation of the circumstances, extend the time in which a judgment may be delivered.

7.2(3) Where the Chief Justice extends the time under subsection (2), he or she may relieve the judge of his or her other duties until the judgment is delivered or take such other measures as the Chief Justice thinks appropriate.

5 Section 12 of the Act is amended by adding after subsection (2) the following:

12(3) An Associate Chief Justice shall carry out the duties assigned by the Chief Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench.

6 The Act is amended by adding after section 12 the following:

12.01(1) For the purpose of ensuring the proper functioning of the Court, the Chief Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench is responsible for the administration of the judicial responsibilities of the Court of Queen's Bench in relation to the judiciary.

12.01(2) In carrying out his or her duties under subsection (1) and any other provision of this Act, and without limiting the generality of that subsection or any other provision, the Chief Justice

(a) shall direct and supervise the assignment of judicial duties to individual judges and may alter those duties from time to time,

(b) shall determine the total annual, monthly and weekly workload of individual judges,

(c) may require a judge to act during the absence of another judge in the place of the judge who is absent,

(d) may designate the place where a judge is to hold sittings and the days on which he or she is to hold such sittings, and

(e) may designate the place where a judge is to establish and maintain an office.

12.01(3) On the appointment of a judge made after the commencement of this subsection, the Chief Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench may designate the place at which the judge is to establish residence.

7 An Act to Amend the Judicature Act, chapter 37 of the Acts of New Brunswick, 1999, is repealed.

8 Section 1, paragraphs 2(b) and (c) and section 5 of this Act come into force on a day or days to be fixed by proclamation.