July 12, 2016. A committee of the Canadian Judicial Council has granted intervener status to a national coalition of women’s organizations, which includes the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women. The coalition will intervene in the inquiry into Justice Robin Camp’s conduct during a 2014 sexual assault trial in Alberta, when he asked the complainant, a 19-year-old Indigenous woman, “Why couldn't you just keep your knees together?” The trial ended in a not guilty verdict. However, the Alberta Court of Appeal overturned the acquittal and ordered a retrial, stating that it was persuaded that “sexual stereotypes and stereotypical myths, which have long since been discredited, may have found their way into the trial judge’s judgment.” CJC’s inquiry into Camp’s action was the result of concerns raised by law professors in Calgary and Halifax, which drew the attention of Kathleen Ganley, Alberta minister of justice and Solicitor General. The inquiry into Camp’s conduct will take place in Calgary from Sept. 6-9. Camp was appointed to the Federal Court in June 2015 and as such, even if the CJC finds he has breached the standard of good behaviour, only Parliament can remove him.
Photo: Justice Robin Camp: subject of a Canadian Judicial Council inquiry and a coalition of women’s groups wants to weigh-in on his fate. (Photo: Andrew Balfour/Federal Court of Canada)