THE CONFERENCE ALLOWANCE (section 41 of the Judges Act)
Section 41 of the Judges Act provides federally appointed judges with a conference allowance for reasonable expenses incurred when they attend judicial education conferences and seminars, or other meetings related to the administration of justice. Conferences may include, for example, national judicial education programs in various areas of the law, approved by the Canadian Judicial Council (CJC), or court annual meetings as required or authorized by the various judicature acts and approved by the chief justices. Meetings of judges may include those of the CJC, the Canadian Superior Courts Judges Association, other judicial associations, boards and committees, and language training programs. The Commissioner issues Guidelines on the Conference Allowance. Expenses that comply with the Act and the Guidelines may be reimbursed by the Office of the Commissioner.
All federally appointed judges are charged a mandatory annual education fee by the National Judicial Institute (NJI). This covers registration fees for professional development or judicial education conferences and seminars organized by the NJI in a given year, as well as unlimited access to various updated online education seminars and resources. This annual education fee is approved by the CJC in its judicial education leadership role, and in accordance with subsection 60(2)(b) of the Act “to establish seminars for the continuing education of judges.” The fee is paid in lieu of individual judges’ registration fees for each NJI activity. For 2023-2024, the annual education fee is $7,009 per judge. For the purposes of expense reporting, this annual fee is prorated on a quarterly basis.
Classes of expenses reimbursed - ss. 90.21(d) of the ATIA
Registration paid by judges to attend judicial or legal themed conferences, including the annual education fee paid to the NJI
Costs related to necessary travel by air, rail, taxi, or automobile, subject to limits and conditions identified in the Guidelines
Includes hotels, subject to maximums prescribed in the Guidelines, and private accommodations
Actual and reasonable meal expenses with receipts, or per diems prescribed in the Guidelines
Other reasonable expenses
Includes child care assistance if eligible, and internet
(Expenses published for one quarter are those reimbursed in that quarter. Some of the published expenses may have been incurred in a previous quarter.)
Name of court
ss. 90.21(a) of the ATIA
Total expenses reimbursed
Number of judges reimbursed
Number of judges in attendance
(for all courts)
*Some conferences and meetings were cancelled or held virtually due to COVID-19. Some judges may have nonetheless incurred expenses in preparation for these events. Negative amounts reflect instances where judges repaid to FJA any refund received for flights, hotel or other reservations made in preparation of such conferences or meetings.
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