Thank you, Madam Chair.
Justice Kent and Justice MacDonald, thank you very much for coming today. Your presentations have been very informative and very helpful.
In terms of my background, I practised before the courts in Ontario for 20 years. I grew up surrounded by people in the legal profession. I say that only because it gives me some insight. I believe we have the greatest justice system in the world. We live in a world now where it's easy for people—journalists, politicians, the public—to pick one-off situations and use them to attack the system. That is fundamentally wrong, in my opinion.
Justice MacDonald, I'm glad to hear you say that we're on top of this, because I do believe we are. I know that in Ontario, the education system for judges is top-notch. You get judges appointed from a civil litigation background. They need to be trained on criminal procedure and some update on criminal law, or vice versa. The training system we have is extraordinary, in my opinion. Forty years ago when judges were appointed, they came from a general background. They practised all these different areas. They didn't need the training. Now they do.
This is the latest example, but we can't do anything that fetters the discretion of the judges. That's why I'd be very interested to hear what amendments you propose. I will go through some of the language in the legislation in a moment. The preamble of the act says, “survivors of sexual assault in Canada must have faith in the criminal justice system” and “Parliament recognizes the importance of an independent judiciary”. That has to be paramount in anything that's done here.
I'll ask you, Justice MacDonald, as it wouldn't be fair to Justice Kent, if there are any specific amendments you would recommend right off the top. I'm looking at some of the sections, for example, on the reporting of judges who go to seminars.