Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Notice of Vacancies at the Copyright Board

As expected, vacancies have been announced at the Copyright Board, and were posted in the Canada Gazette on April 18, 2009. Under the statute, terms are for a maximum of five years and can be renewed only once. Not all members have had their appointments renewed in the past. There can be up to five members, who can be full or part-time. The notice refers to a full-time position for the Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and part-time member positions, of which there could be up to two appointments.

This year, there could be up to four vacancies, including the position of Chairman. Interestingly, for the first time since the beginning of the “new” Copyright Board era in 1989, the Government is looking for “part-time” appointments for positions other than the Chairman and Vice Chairman. This may reflect the fact that live hearings are infrequent and have rarely involved more than three members.

The Chairman must be a sitting or retired judge of a superior, county or district court. The current Chairman is Justice William Vancise, a supernumerary judge of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, who was appointed five years ago. He could be reappointed for a second term.

It will, of course, be a challenge to the Government to fill the potential vacancies referred to in the Canada Gazette with available persons who are sufficiently expert on the one hand and who would be perceived as sufficiently impartial on the other.

The deadline for application for the vacancies referred to in the Canada Gazette is May 4, 2009.


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