The Representational Allowance

ss. 27(6) of the Judges Act

Preamble

The relevant provisions provide as follows:

On and after April 1, 2004, each of the following judges is entitled to be paid, as a representational allowance, reasonable travel and other expenses actually incurred by the judge or the spouse or common-law partner of the judge in discharging the special extra-judicial obligations and responsibilities that devolve on the judge, to the extent that those expenses may not be reimbursed under any other provision of this Act and their aggregate amount does not exceed in any year the maximum amount indicated below in respect of the judge:  (a) the Chief Justice of Canada, $18,750; (b) each puisne judge of the Supreme Court of Canada, $10,000.

In essence, a representational allowance is provided to the judges, ranging from $10,000 annually for the judges of the Supreme Court of Canada and $18,750 for the Chief Justice of Canada, for the reimbursement of expenses which they incur as part of their particular role and responsibilities in representing the Court. By law, expenses reimbursed under this subsection must be (i) reasonable, (ii) incurred by the judge or in some cases by the judge's spouse or common-law partner, or a judge delegated by the chief justice to represent him or her and (iii) because of the special extra-judicial obligations and responsibilities of the judge. Reasonable hospitality expenses incurred by the judges may be claimed for judicial and law-related activities. The Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Canada issues Guidelines on the Representational Allowance.

Classes of Expenses Reimbursed - ss. 90.07(c)

Reasonable travel expenses for attendance at functions

Functions include speaking engagements, legal and community organizations’ conferences and dinners; swearing-in and swearing-out ceremonies, opening of the courts events, and others. Expenses reimbursed include transportation, accommodation, meals and other related travel expenses, in accordance with the Guidelines on the Travel Allowance

Reasonable travel expenses incurred by the spouse or common-law partner to attend protocol or formal functions

Section 27(6) of the Judges Act includes expenses “incurred by the judge or the spouse or common-law partner of the judge” in circumstances where the attendance of the spouse/partner is deemed appropriate for protocol reasons or is requested by official invitation. Expenses reimbursed include transportation, meals and other related travel expenses in accordance with the Guidelines on the Travel Allowance

Reasonable hospitality expenses

Working meals with judicial/government officials, law-related organizations’ representatives, community leaders, law deans and judges, former law clerks; hosting foreign delegations; receptions on behalf of the Court, with the law society, and with bench and bar committees

Gifts for diplomatic, protocol or representational purposes

Includes gifts for international delegations of judges visiting the Court, guest speakers at Court events, and for acknowledgement on behalf of the Court

Other reasonable expenses

Includes court outreach in schools and in the legal and broader community, moot courts, and the purchase of Court related items not otherwise provided by government

Guidelines on the Representational Allowance - ss. 90.07(e)

(Subsection 27(6) of the Judges Act)

Introduction

The purpose of these Guidelines is to provide guidance and clarification to judges entitled to a representational allowance under subsection 27(6) of the Judges Act. The allowance is provided to the judges in recognition of the special extra-judicial obligations of their position. These Guidelines cannot provide for every circumstance and judges should contact the Registrar in advance if they are uncertain as to whether an expense may be claimed.

Subsection 27(6) of the Act

Subsection 27(6) provides as follows:

Representational allowance

27(6) On and after April 1, 2004, each of the following judges is entitled to be paid, as a representational allowance, reasonable travel and other expenses actually incurred by the judge or the spouse or common-law partner of the judge in discharging the special extra-judicial obligations and responsibilities that devolve on the judge, to the extent that those expenses may not be reimbursed under any other provision of this Act and their aggregate amount does not exceed in any year the maximum amount indicated below in respect of the judge:

  1. the Chief Justice of Canada, $18,750;
  2. each puisne judge of the Supreme Court of Canada, $10,000;

[...]

In essence, a representational allowance is provided to the judges, ranging from $10,000 annually for judges and $18,750 for the Chief Justice of Canada, for the reimbursement of expenses which they incur as part of their particular role and responsibilities in representing the Court.

By law, expenses reimbursed under this subsection must be:

  • reasonable, meaning both the item as well as its cost;
  • incurred by a judge or in some cases the judge’s spouse or common-law partner, or a judge delegated by the chief justice to represent him or her; and
  • because of the special extra-judicial obligations and responsibilities of the judges.

General principles

The Registrar administers allowances provided to judges under the Judges Act, and audits every claim. Reimbursements made under the representational allowance must adhere to the following principles:

  • value for money;
  • accountability;
  • transparency; and
  • respect for judicial independence and appreciation for the special extra-judicial obligations of the judges.

Classes or categories of reimbursable expenses

Reasonable travel expenses to attend functions

Because of the position they hold, judges of the SCC are required to attend certain functions which may include but are not limited to: speaking engagements; conferences and dinners organized by various legal and community entities; swearing-in and swearing-out ceremonies; events related to the opening of courts; and others.

In attending such functions, the judges of the SCC may claim reasonable travel expenses such as transportation, accommodations and meals in accordance with what is allowed and described in the Guidelines on the Travel Allowance.

Reasonable travel expenses incurred by the spouse or common-law partner to attend protocol or formal functions

This allowance provides for the reimbursement of reasonable expenses “incurred by the judge or the spouse or common-law partner of the judge in discharging the special extra-judicial obligations and responsibilities that devolve on the judge”.

Reasonable travel costs incurred by the spouse or common-law partner of a judge of the SCC in cases where their attendance at an official function is deemed appropriate for protocol reasons or is requested by official invitation, may therefore be claimed under this allowance.

Reasonable hospitality expenses

Reasonable hospitality expenses incurred by the judges in discharging their special extra­judicial obligations and responsibilities may be claimed for judicial and law-related activities. Such expenses may, for example, be for: working meals with judicial/government officials, representatives of law-related organizations, community leaders, law deans and judges, former law clerks; hosting foreign delegations; receptions on behalf of the Court, such as at swearing-in or swearing-out ceremonies, with the law society, and with bench and bar committees.

Gifts for diplomatic, protocol or representational purposes

The reasonable purchase of gifts for international delegations of judges visiting the Court, guest speakers at court events, or for acknowledgement on behalf of the Court, may be claimed.

Other reasonable expenses

For example, such expenses may include outreach in schools and in the legal and broader community; moot courts; and the purchase of Court related items not otherwise provided by government. Expenses that are an integral part of the judicial role, as opposed to being related to special extra-judicial obligations and responsibilities of the judges, should be claimed under the Incidental Allowance (under ss. 27(1) of the Judges Act - see the Guidelines on the Incidental Allowance. Some expenses may nonetheless fall under either allowance.)

Receipts

With the exception of the daily per diem that may be claimed by judges, all expenses claimed must be supported by an original, detailed receipt for each transaction (a credit card slip is not sufficient if it does not set out the details of the purchase/ payment). In exceptional cases where a detailed receipt is lost or otherwise unavailable, a credit card payment slip or the monthly credit card statement (or a copy of a cheque, if paid by cheque), is acceptable.

July 1 to September 30, 2020 Expenses

Total amount of expenditures reimbursed
ss. 90.07 (a)
Number of judges reimbursed
ss. 90.07 (b)
Number of judges who received a reimbursement for each class of expenses
ss. 90.07 (d)
Reasonable travel expenses for attendance at functions Reasonable travel expenses incurred by the spouse or common-law partner to attend protocol or formal functions Reasonable hospitality expenses Gifts for diplomatic, protocol or representational purposes Other reasonable expenses
$1,329.28 3 0 0 3 0 0

Expenses published for one quarter are those reimbursed in that quarter. Some of the published expenses may have been incurred in a previous quarter.