For­mer judge to ask for re­turn to prac­tice

St. Thomas Times-Journal - - BUSINESS NEWS -

CAL­GARY — A for­mer judge who re­signed over his treat­ment of a sex­ual as­sault com­plainant is mak­ing his case today for why he should be al­lowed to prac­tise law again.

The Law So­ci­ety of Al­berta is hold­ing a day-long re­in­state­ment hear­ing for Robin Camp in Cal­gary.

Fed­eral Judge Brian Bell, a friend and for­mer col­league, told the hear­ing Camp isa good per­son who isn’ t ho­mo­pho­bic, sex­ist or dis­crim­i­na­tory.

Camp stepped down from Fed­eral Court in March fol­low­ing a Cana­dian Ju­di­cial Coun­cil rec­om­men­da­tion that he be re­moved from the bench.

Court tran­scripts from the 2014 sex­ual as­sault trial show that Camp — a provin­cial court judge in Cal­gary at the time — called the com­plainant “the ac­cused” nu­mer­ous times and asked her why she didn’t re­sist by keep­ing her knees to­gether.

Camp found the ac­cused, Alexan­der Wagar, not guilty, but the Ap­peal Court or­dered a new trial that re­sulted in him be­ing ac­quit­ted for a sec­ond time.

Bell said the head­lines call­ing Camp the “knees-to­gether judge” don’t re­flect the per­son he knows. “He’s just a very, very good per­son.”

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.

“I don’t speak for Camp,” Rebel founder Ezra Le­vant said in an emailed state­ment Tues­day.

“He did some work for me back when he was a lawyer. Over sev­eral weeks, we ex­plored whether there could be a role for him at The Rebel. Dur­ingth­at­time,hehelped­with­some ad­min­is­tra­tive work but did no le­gal work. We both agreed the was no role forhi­mattheRe­be­landul­ti­mately,he was never em­ployed by us.”

Karen Hansen, rep­re­sent­ing the law so­ci­ety at the hear­ing, said the group is tak­ing a neu­tral stance. She said the panel has to make a very dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion.

“The ques­tion of the panel is whether Mr. Camp’s re­in­state­ment would tend to harm the rep­u­ta­tion of the le­gal pro­fes­sion,” she said in her open­ing remarks.

Camp has apol­o­gized for his remarks as a judge and has un­der­gone train­ing and coun­selling.

When law so­ci­ety mem­bers be­come judges, they are au­to­mat­i­cally no longer part of the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

The law so­ci­ety said that when a for­mer judge ap­plies to be re­in­stated as a lawyer, the steps taken de­pend on whether he or she re­tired in good stand­ing or was oth­er­wise re­moved from the bench.

The ap­pli­ca­tion may be ap­proved quickly if the per­son sat­is­fies com­pe­tency and con­duct re­quire­ments, but in other cases it’s more com­pli­cated.

“If there are con­cerns around cre­den­tials and ed­u­ca­tion or com­pe­tency to prac­tise law, the in­di­vid­ual may be re­ferred to var­i­ous com­mit­tees com­prised of benchers (law so­ci­ety board mem­bers) and vol­un­teers for fur­ther re­view,” the so­ci­ety said in an emailed state­ment ear­lier this month.

“The law so­ci­ety may in­ves­ti­gate to see if the in­di­vid­ual has pre­vi­ous dis­ci­plinary pro­ceed­ings or crim­i­nal con­vic­tions, and may re­fer the ap­pli­ca­tion to the con­duct com­mit­tee if such con­cerns are iden­ti­fied.” The Cana­dian Press

Robin Camp

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