09/06/2018 15:59 EDT | Updated 09/06/2018 17:24 EDT

Liberals To Speed Up Pace Of Appointing New Judges To Clear Up Backlog

The justice minister says the changes will take place later this month.

Justin Tang/CP
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on May 29, 2018.

OTTAWA — The federal Liberals say the rate at which new judges are appointed to the bench will ramp up later this month when cabinet returns to the national capital.

So far this year, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould has appointed or promoted 65 judges, including 19 just last week, after appointing or promoting 100 last year.

Her office says 212 judges have been appointed or promoted overall since the Liberals took office.

57 judicial vacancies

A spokesperson for Wilson-Raybould says the frequency of appointments will increase with the return of regular cabinet meetings when the House of Commons returns from its summer break on Sept. 17.

The government faces constant pressure to fill empty seats on federal benches over complaints that cases are being thrown out because of lengthy trial delays.

The office of the commissioner for federal judicial affairs says there are 57 judicial vacancies, a rising figure the Liberals say is partly a result of government spending to create more judicial positions.