Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel, House of Commons

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Position title:
Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel
Salary range:
$184,100.00 - $216,500.00/Year
National Capital Region
Application Review Date:
June 15, 2023
Opportunity number:

The Office of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel provides comprehensive legal and legislative services to the Speaker, the Board of Internal Economy, Members of the House and its committees, the Clerk and the House Administration. The Office also drafts legislation and amendments for Members and may represent Members or the House in proceedings that involve their parliamentary privileges and immunities.

The Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel provides legal advice to Members of Parliament, the House of Commons standing committees and the Administration, including the Board of Internal Economy. The Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel may also intervene in court actions on behalf of the Speaker of the House of Commons or Members of Parliament to ensure that parliamentary rights and immunities are respected. In addition, the Office of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel provides legislative assistance to Members of Parliament in drafting private Members’ bills and motions to amend bills. Finally, the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel acts as one of the senior Table Officers in the Chamber which enables them to be closely informed of the progress of legislation in the House and provides Members of Parliament with access to the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel.

The incumbent is responsible for the staff and services of the Office of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel and is a senior manager at the House of Commons, one of just a handful of individuals who report directly to the Clerk. The incumbent is also a member of the Clerks’ Management Group, the senior executive body for the House administration and as such is responsible for contributing to the strategic direction of the organization.

Diversity and Official Languages

We are committed to providing a healthy and accessible workplace that supports one’s dignity, self-esteem and the ability to work on one’s full potential. With this in mind, all appointees will be expected to take steps to promote and maintain a healthy, respectful, inclusive and harassment-free work environment. Preference may be given to applicants who are members of one or more of the following groups: women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and members of a visible minority group. The Government of Canada will consider bilingual proficiency and diversity in assessing applicants. You are therefore asked to include in your online profile your ability to speak and understand your second official language.

To be considered, please ensure that the information provided in your curriculum vitae and cover letter clearly demonstrate how you meet the following requirements:

Education and Experience

  • A degree in law from a recognized university and must be a member in good standing for at least ten (10) years of the bar of a province or territory of Canada or the Chambre des notaires du Québec;

  • Graduate studies in constitutional and/or public law would be considered an asset;

  • Experience at the senior management level in a private or public sector organization, preferably in a legal or judicial field;

  • Experience in providing strategic legal advice and decision-making on complex and sensitive issues;

  • Experience in negotiating with diverse stakeholders with competing objectives and building consensus on complex issues;

  • Experience with the legislative process, preparing and amending legislation would be considered an asset; and

  • Experience in interacting with parliamentarians and legislators would be considered an asset.

If you move on to the next stage of the selection process, the following criteria will be assessed:

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of the mandate, role and responsibilities of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel and the legislative framework governing the mandate, in particular the Parliament of Canada Act, the Constitution Act, 1867 and the Constitution Act, 1982, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canada Elections Act, the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act, the Official Languages Act and other federal statutes applicable to the House of Commons;

  • Knowledge of the constitutional roles, responsibilities and practices of the Crown, the Parliament of Canada and the Government of Canada, with particular emphasis on the roles and responsibilities of the House of Commons and the Senate and the law of parliamentary privilege;

  • Knowledge of the legal framework governing federal public institutions based on law and practice;

  • Knowledge of current legislative initiatives;

  • Strong leadership and management skills;

  • Ability to provide impartial and authoritative advice and support to the Speaker and Clerk of the House of Commons and the Board of Internal Economy on procedural and legal matters;

  • Ability to effectively identify legal issues and provide legal advice to Members of Parliament, including before House Committees, and to intervene in complex situations in a partisan environment with multiple competing interests;

  • Ability to provide effective advice to senior House of Commons officials on administrative and governance issues; and

  • Ability to interpret relevant legislation, analyze diverse opinions and complex situations and respond strategically and reasonably to provide fair and equitable recommendations.

Language Requirements

Proficiency in both official languages is essential.

If you move on to the next stage of the selection process, we will contact your references to confirm that you meet the above selection criteria and that you possess the following Personal Attributes:

  • Strategic leader

  • Impartiality and fairness

  • High ethical standards and integrity

  • Superior interpersonal and communication skills

  • Sound judgment and tact

Eligibility Factors and Conditions of Employment

  • Appointees must comply with the Ethical and Political Activity Guidelines for Public Office Holders throughout their appointment as a term and condition of employment. The guidelines are available on the Governor in Council Appointments website under the Forms and reference material.

  • All appointees are subject to the Conflicts of Interest Act. Public office holders appointed on a full-time basis must also submit to the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics within 60 days of appointment, a confidential report in which they disclose all of their assets, liabilities and outside activities. For more information, please visit the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's website.

  • Appointees must uphold the highest standards of probity and are expected to demonstrate behaviours in the workplace that afford respect, equality and dignity, to everyone they interact with at work at all times. The Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector outlines the values and expected behaviours for public servants, including valuing diversity and creating workplaces free from harassment and discrimination. Governor in Council appointees are expected to uphold and respect these values and principles in a positive and active manner.

  • If you are appointed to this position, you must reside in or be willing to relocate to the National Capital Region, or to a location within a reasonable commuting distance.

  • The successful candidate will need to consent and be able to regularly work long hours due to the activities of the House of Commons and Members of Parliament associated with regular and extended and frequent emergencies.

A link to this notice will be placed in the Canada Gazette to assist the Governor in Council in identifying qualified candidates. It is not, however, intended to be the sole means of recruitment. A list of qualified candidates may be established and may be used for similar opportunities.

How to Apply

Review of applications (more information available here) will begin on June 15, 2023. Candidates are strongly encouraged to submit their application by this date, along with a resume and cover letter addressed to the Director of Selection Processes, Senior Personnel Secretariat, Privy Council Office. Applications will continue to be accepted after this date and may be considered up until an appointment to the position is made.
Candidates should apply online via the Governor in Council Appointments website. To learn more about the application process, please visit the how to apply for an appointment opportunity on the Governor in Council Appointments website.

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