Ontario judge rebuked for ending day early as delays pile up The criticism of Ontario Court Justice Rick Libman – chair of the court’s rules committee – comes in a published decision by Justice Michael Code of the Ontario Superior Court
A Canadian Judicial Council committee set to begin a second inquiry next week into alleged drug use by Superior Court Justice Michel Girouard will hear new evidence from a witness who claims her husband took drugs with the judge.
The failure to provide a corrective instruction was an error in law by Superior Court Justice James Ramsay and rendered the trial unfair, The Court of Appeal ruling was issued the same day the Ontario Divisional Court upheld a suspension and costs order against Joe Groia, for incivility in his successful defence of former Bre-X executive John Felderhof on insider trading charges. The Divisional Court upheld a one-month suspension and $200,000 costs order against Groia, ordered by a Law Society of Upper Canada appeals tribunal. Arguments by the law society that a court’s comments about a lawyer’s conduct are proof of misconduct, were rejected by the Divisional Court. However, it said comments or findings may be admitted as evidence at a disciplinary hearing.
The Canadian Judicial Council (CJC) has recommended a judge's removal 5 times in 45 years, yet no government has ever followed through and actually fired anybody. Ever. For anything. That’s your scandal right there, Canada. Fear of the courtroom experience prevents so many from reporting sexual assault, the CJC's decision is a huge victory for women and all complainants. Yet still thornier problems await, especially our culture of deference that tolerates bias, abuse or incompetence in the name of judicial independence. The judge cited in my opening was enabled by a system that everyone felt powerless to change. Mainly, everyone just tried to keep their heads down and stay out of the way. Nobody talked about the effect of this man's wanton cruelty on the lives of citizens who came before him, hoping for justice. Because we were powerless, it was all treated with a kind of gallows humour. But it's the unsuspecting public I think of most, when I look back on it now.
Judge Pierre Gagnon criticized Justice Toews for showing a lack of respect for a tribunal order. “More than anyone, he is able to understand the respect and attention that should be attributed to a document with the heading ‘DÉCISION,’” Judge Gagnon wrote last week, with evident sarcasm, A spokesperson for the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench said that Justice Toews is not in a position to answer questions on this matter.
“He makes bold decisions. He will not be affected by public sentiment. He plays no favourites in the courtroom,” Not all judges have the same qualities. “Judges are not in the happiness business,” he said. Appointed to the bench in 1990, Justice Vaillancourt will bring more than a quarter-century of experience to the task. He was a school teacher before spending 16 years as a criminal lawyer in Sault Ste. Marie.
The better story is not what the judge said, but that it’s being used as part of a smear campaign against his candidacy for the soon-to-be-vacant chief justice’s job. Brownstone and Maisonneuve are equally well-qualified. I got a call from an anonymous tipster who told me the there was unease on the bench about Brownstone, and nervousness that Premier Kathleen Wynne, who is openly gay herself, might give him the nod. Brownstone, this person suggested, didn’t have the necessary gravitas the chief justice requires
Canadian Judicial Council overrules its own decisions. Politically driven committees intimidate and destroy judicial independence. Little or no integrity in multimillion-dollar complaint process. The Council backtracked on its own recommendation. Complaints against federal judges usually handled in secret The Canadian Judicial Council, which investigates about 180 complaints each year, is pondering how to make the process more transparent. Critics say the suggestions don’t go far enough.
Ontario Court Justice Dianne Nicholas officially stepped down from the bench on Dec. 31. It was two weeks before she was scheduled to appear before the Ontario Judicial Council over remarks Nicholas said she inadvertently posted on the Facebook page of a local assistant Crown attorney in October 2012. As a result of her retirement, the Ontario Judicial Council no longer has the jurisdiction to hold a hearing or to discipline Nicholas.
Ontario Victims’ Justice Fund funds the Child and Youth Witness Support Program.A 2009 Department of Justice report estimated that 83 per cent of the costs of violent crime are borne by victims. That includes lost productivity and wages, costs of going to court and medical or psychological care. Proponents of the surcharge argue its mandatory nature helps make up for the shortfall in funding for victim services and that any hardship experienced by an offender who may not be able to pay pales in comparison to the hardship suffered by victims of their crimes.
Given the current state of the Ontario Court system, judge shopping may be key to winning, regardless of the nature of the dispute. For example, on a yellow slip of paper taped in the back of defence lawyer Karen Ann Reid’s day planner is a list. One side has the initials of Ottawa judges who don’t impose what’s known as the victim surcharge; on the other side, the ones who do. (also see related articles 'Why judges' politics matters' & 'Chummy with the judge').
The new monarchy: Taxpayers have been dishing out millions of dollars to cover the legal fees of federal judges under investigation who are fighting the disciplinary process.
Some facts you probably didn't know -- Canadian judicial appointments are among the most corrupt in the entire world. That's the opinion of the human rights watchdog group Global Integrity. Official Canadian mythology dictates this secrecy equals independence. The tradition's helped breed a culture in which Canada's lawyer-judicial complex understands itself to be entirely self-governing, self-regulating, and self-perpetuating. One could say the Canadian judiciary is barely a branch of the government at all these days, but simply a free-floating thing unaccountable to anyone but the lawyers who get jobs and money from it.
“The Chief Justice initiated the call to the Minister of Justice. After the Minister received her call he advised the Prime Minister that given the subject she wished to raise, taking a phone call from the Chief Justice would be inadvisable and inappropriate. The Prime Minister agreed and did not take her call
The world of lawyers and judges welcomed Lori Douglas into their club knowing full well the baggage she carried. Once that baggage became public, however, it was off with her head; they collectively have prosecuted and persecuted her.
The Court of Appeal decided two cases dealing with the issue of apprehension of bias.
The public’s perception of a judge’s impartiality must always be maintained for the administration of justice, even if there is no evidence of a bias or conflict of interest, according to a recent ruling by Ontario’s top court.
Ill conceived legislation on public policy driven from either the left or the right can be democratically repealed by the electorate. Judicial decisions on matters of public policy become precedent that can last a life-time.
In some cases, the law, properly approached, is clear and all competent judges will come to the same conclusion. However, in many cases there is room for discretion and a judge's background and worldview will make a significant difference in the result.
After resigning Thursday under threat of being fired by the federal government, Ontario Superior Court Judge Paul Cosgrove will collect close to his full pension, worth about $170,000 a year.
The Canadian Judicial Council has recommended that an Ontario Superior Court judge be removed from office.
Judging the judges: Canada's more than 2,000 federal and provincial judges are coming under harsher public scrutiny
The guidelines of the Canadian Judicial Council set out in its document, “Ethical Principles for Judges,” (1998), Chapter 6: Conflicts of Interest.; but apparently not followed in regard to chief justice complaint
The fact is that the legal community is worried because these changes alter their private golden circle that has been able to operate freely to pick and choose those who will be considered for federal judicial appointments. The latter explains why so many former presidents of the Canadian Bar Association and provincial law societies have been appointed judges in the past.
New legislation to deal with a lingering perception that getting a job as a JP -- with a minimum salary of $88,000 -- depends more on who you know more than what you know.
Citing ferocious "ego-led" jockeying for the prestigious $224,200 posts that makes election campaigns seem mild by comparison, former Newfoundland Premier suggests patronage must stop.
The 34,000-member Canadian Bar Association demanded a boost to most federally appointed judges' salaries 10.8 per cent to $240,000 from $219,400, effective April 1, 2004. There would be cumulative annual indexing in each of the subsequent three years.and suggest that judges might take bribes otherwise.
While there is no reason to believe that Justice Abella will bring anything less than her very best efforts to her judicial decisions, she is arguably the most left-wing jurist ever appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada.
The Supreme Court of Canada has made decision-making in criminal trials so onerous and so abstruse many judges have trouble explaining the process. This case takes the cake as an egregious example of what can go wrong in our legal system and the extraordinary costs involved -- emotionally to victims' families and financially to taxpayers
Liberal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler revealed recently that his department compiles "jurisprudential profiles" of judges -- their legal backgrounds -- to help him in his informal search for candidates to fill positions that are considered among the most important in the country. But the Justice Department has rejected a request to release the documents under federal access-to-information laws, saying the profiles are protected "cabinet confidences." Profiles of both past and present candidates were denied.
Mr. Bourbonnais, 62, and fellow judge Roberto Colaveccio were suspended with pay in October 2001, a year after the investigation began. Mr. Colaveccio, who gave $3,000 to the Quebec Liberal party in 2003 and has ties to former Quebec MP Alfonso Gagliano, was not charged. For his leading role in a bribery scheme that targeted cases he was slated to hear, former Immigration and Refugee Board appeals division judge Yves Bourbonnais was sentenced to six years in prison.
The decision of when to show mercy is subjective and that means professionals with whom judges can more easily identify possibly receive more consideration. Professionals may be judged to have sexual disorders, while those lower on the social scale are more likely to be seen as simply having a dangerous tendency to criminal behaviour. And this brings the justice system into disrepute. It is not surprising that Dr. [redacted]'s sentence has raised eyebrows. Imagine if the same acts were committed by a 22-year-old with a spotty record of unemployment, shabbily dressed and of little social standing: Would there be concern that he be able to carry on his obligations? Would there be consideration that he is receiving treatment and should pose no further threat? Probably not.