The three judges and two lawyers on a Canadian Judicial Council inquiry committee have unanimously concluded that Justice Robin Camp is unfit to remain on the bench, after his conduct in a rape trial gave him a national reputation as the judge who asked a sexual assault complainant why she couldn’t keep her knees together.
Their recommendation now goes to the full Canadian Judicial Council, who will pass its own recommendation on Camp’s fate to federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and a possible parliamentary vote. Judges who get this far toward losing their jobs sometimes resign before being pushed, but Camp’s only comment Wednesday, through a lawyer, was that he “is grateful to the inquiry committee for its thorough consideration of the evidence and his submissions.”‘
The panel’s consideration went well beyond the “knees together” comment. There were several remarks the judge made in a 2015 Calgary sexual assault trial that drew complaints from legal experts, the public and Alberta’s justice minister. In the first case of its kind, this committee effectively sketched out limits on what is acceptable or unacceptable to say from the bench when conducting such a trial. Much of what Camp said fell outside those limits, and peddled long-discredited myths about rape and sexual assault victims, the two men and three women on the committee concluded.
The inquiry concluded that 17 of the 21 allegations were fully substantiated, while another two were partly substantiated. The panelists wrote in their report that his misconduct severely damaged public confidence in his role as an impartial jurist, and that remedial education he was receiving couldn’t offset that damage.
If you read all of this comments, it reminded me of what I was taught growing up and that is good girls don’t get raped and that it is the women’s fault for being drunk, dressing provocatively, or list your own reason… it was the women’s fault.
It’s discouraging to think that a judge of all people would act this way but it’s encouraging that people are finally standing up to it.