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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Red Deer remains at two active COVID-19 cases

Alberta confirms 94 new cases over past two days

City of Red Deer is reviewing audit of Westerner Park’s operations

A road map to sustainability is needed, says city official

Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery has re-opened

Central Albertans can now take in some history and culture at the… Continue reading

Handgun and drugs seized during arrest of suspected drug dealer

Red Deer man facing drugs and weapons charge in connection with June 18 drug bust

Suspect who allegedly fled police traffic stop arrested

29-year-old man was arrested at Deer Park home on Wednesday

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Michael Dawe: Canada Day festivities have been interfered with before

Because of the restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,… Continue reading

Save-On-Foods stores donate to Red Deer Food Bank

Thanks to some hungry central Albertans, the Red Deer Food Bank is… Continue reading

Canadian engineer released from Egypt needs treatment, family says

Canadian engineer released from Egypt needs treatment, family says

Inquiry into mass shooting in Nova Scotia facing delays due to ‘technicalities’

Inquiry into mass shooting in Nova Scotia facing delays due to ‘technicalities’

Quebec tractor driver charged after accident kills three children, injures seven

Quebec tractor driver charged after accident kills three children, injures seven

Military member arrested after truck rammed gate near Trudeau residence: RCMP

Military member arrested after truck rammed gate near Trudeau residence: RCMP

UK to end quarantine for travellers from ‘low-risk’ countries

UK to end quarantine for travellers from ‘low-risk’ countries

Officials: Students in Alabama threw COVID contest parties

Officials: Students in Alabama threw COVID contest parties

Most Read