Ex-judge ap­plies for law li­cence

Re­signed af­ter ‘knees to­gether’ con­tro­versy

National Post (National Edition) - - CANADA - BILL KAUF­MANN Post­media News with files from The Cana­dian Press

CAL­GARY • Say­ing he’s a changed man since ques­tion­ing the con­duct of a sex­ual-as­sault com­plainant, for­mer judge Robin Camp said Tues­day he should be al­lowed to re­turn to life as a lawyer.

Camp, who re­signed as a fed­eral judge last March in the face of ex­pul­sion for ask­ing a 19-year-old woman in 2014 why she didn’t “keep her knees to­gether” dur­ing an al­leged sex­ual as­sault, told an Al­berta Law So­ci­ety panel that he’s grown from the ex­pe­ri­ence, aided by coun­selling.

“I learned I wasn’t as clever as I thought I was, I learned there was a whole area of life I knew noth­ing about ... I learned kind­ness,” said the South Africa-born Camp, 65.

“I still have con­tri­bu­tions to make as a lawyer, I have a good five or 10 years in me.”

He also said he wanted to de­liver a per­sonal apol­ogy to the woman in the con­tentious case but was ad­vised not to.

The Cana­dian Ju­di­cial Coun­cil had rec­om­mended Camp be re­moved from the bench for mak­ing a num­ber of con­tro­ver­sial state­ments in the Cal­gary sex­ual-as­sault trial, in­clud­ing ask­ing why the com­plainant didn’t push her bot­tom into a bath­room sink to avoid in­ter­course with the ac­cused.

He also re­ferred to her sev­eral times as “the ac­cused.”

Those comments led to the re­trial of ac­cused Alexan­der Wa­ger, who was sub­se­quently ac­quit­ted a sec­ond time last Jan­uary.

Af­ter he stepped down from the bench, Camp spent some time con­sult­ing for The Rebel, but was ul­ti­mately not em­ployed by the on­line con­ser­va­tive web­site.

Five wit­nesses tes­ti­fied be­fore the three-mem­ber panel that Camp was a com­pe­tent le­gal prac­ti­tioner and man of up­stand­ing char­ac­ter.

Camp told the panel if re­in­stated as a lawyer, he’d pre­fer to prac­tise com­mer­cial, cor­po­rate and en­vi­ron­men­tal law, and ruled out the crim­i­nal field.

A law so­ci­ety lawyer asked Camp and the wit­nesses no ques­tions, adding the body is neu­tral on the mat­ter.

But so­ci­ety ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Don Thomp­son said the case would be weighed care­fully, though ad­mit­ted the body has no guide­lines on han­dling it.

“No one has any rec­ol­lec­tions of a judge re­turn­ing to prac­tise un­der th­ese cir­cum­stances,” said Thomp­son.

The main ques­tion con­fronting the so­ci­ety, he said, is whether re­in­stat­ing Camp “will bring the le­gal pro­fes­sion into dis­re­pute.”

Camp’s at­tor­ney Alain Hep­ner and the law so­ci­ety will pro­duce le­gal sub­mis­sions over the next month with a de­ci­sion on re­in­state­ment com­ing in the new year.

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