Inquiry to be held into judge after comments in Alberta sex assault case

Alberta's justice minister has forced an inquiry into a Federal Court judge who asked a sexual assault complainant why she couldn't keep her knees together.

OTTAWA — Alberta’s justice minister has forced an inquiry into a Federal Court judge who asked a sexual assault complainant why she couldn’t keep her knees together.

The Canadian Judicial Council said Thursday that the public inquiry will determine whether Justice Robin Camp should be removed from his job.

An inquiry is held automatically when a provincial justice minister requests one. Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley asked for the process in a letter to the council last month.

The council had ordered a review panel in November to examine the judge’s conduct in the sex assault case when he was a provincial court judge in Calgary.

Council spokeswoman Johanna Laporte said the panel was going to decide if there should also be an inquiry and Ganley’s request bypassed that step.

In June 2014, Camp acquitted a man of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old girl after deciding that the man’s version of events was more credible.

Three legal academics who filed a complaint about Camp’s decision said he disregarded the law and treated the woman badly.

According to court transcripts, Camp questioned the woman’s morals, suggested her attempts to fight off her attacker were feeble and described her as “the accused” throughout the trial.

He asked her, “Why couldn’t you just keep your knees together?” and said “pain and sex sometimes go together.”

The judge also told the accused after he found him not guilty that all men have to be more gentle and careful with women, and that he should pass the message onto his friends so they wouldn’t get into trouble.

The verdict was overturned on appeal and a new trial was ordered.

Ganley wrote in her letter to the council that Camp’s conduct “was so manifestly and profoundly destructive of the concept of impartiality, integrity and independence of the judicial role that public confidence has been sufficiently undermined to render Justice Camp incapable of executing his judicial office.”

She said Camp’s comments have been widely circulated in the media “and it would be truly unfortunate if this has a chilling effect on victims of sexual abuse, making them hesitant to come forward.”

The Federal Court has ordered Camp not to hear any cases until further notice.

Laporte said that if the inquiry report recommends Camp’s removal from the bench, a recommendation will be made to the federal justice minister. The final decision is up to Parliament.

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake man charged with first-degree murder of his dad

A 28-year-old Sylvan Lake man has been charged with the first-degree murder… Continue reading

Red Deer man going to trial on manslaughter

Gabriel Agotic accused of involvement in May 2017 death of Mathiang Chol

Nominees sought for business awards

Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce annual awards program

‘Somewhere to go:’ Sex trafficking victim calls for more safe houses

REGINA — For years, Beatrice Wallace blamed herself. Not only did she… Continue reading

China renews demand on Canada for Huawei executive’s release

BEIJING — China on Wednesday renewed a demand that Canada release a… Continue reading

Maskwacis youth found dead on reserve

The remains of 16 year old Houston Omeasoo found

Duncan announces $30 million to promote safety and inclusiveness in sport

TORONTO — The federal government is investing $30 million over five years… Continue reading

Raptors president Ujiri addresses rare off-court issues during NBA title run

TORONTO — Even a championship can come with hiccups. Toronto Raptors president… Continue reading

Mouse that roared: Disney characters win local union shakeup

ORLANDO, Fla. — The mouse that roared was heard. Months after workers… Continue reading

Soulpepper’s original musical ‘Rose’ among big winners at Dora theatre awards

TORONTO — Soulpepper’s first original musical “Rose” was among the big winners… Continue reading

‘Must work together:’ Alberta legislature boss chides both sides in earplug spat

Legislature boss chides both sides in earplug spat EDMONTON — Alberta’s legislature… Continue reading

‘He’s my son: Accused mother cries at trial over boy who died of meningitis

LETHBRIDGE — The mother of a toddler who died of bacterial meningitis… Continue reading

Licence revoked for doc who used own sperm to artificially inseminate patients

TORONTO — An Ottawa fertility doctor who used his own sperm as… Continue reading

Most Read