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Ontario to change judicial process

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TORONTO—Ontario's attorney general says the government is moving ahead with changes to the way judges and justices of the peace are appointed.

Doug Downey says the province will expand the number of qualified candidates eligible for judicial appointments in a bid to fill vacancies in provincial courts more quickly.

Currently, a review panel of judges and lawyers forwards a list of two judicial candidates to the government for selection any time a vacancy opens up, but that will change to six candidates under the new system.

The government says that longer list will help establish a pool of “recommended” candidates that could be considered for any vacancies within a year without having to re-apply.

Downey first raised the idea last fall, with some in the legal community voicing concerns that the proposed changes would open up judicial appointments to political interference.

The government says the changes will be included in new legislation which will be introduced at a later date.

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