Judicial committee says 'knees together' judge Robin Camp should lose his job

Posted December 02, 2016

In a unanimous decision, the inquiry committee tasked with reviewing the conduct of Justice Robin Camp has recommended to the Canadian Judicial Council he be removed from the bench.

The Canadian Judicial Council said the committee found comments Camp made during the trial were incompatible with the duties as outlined in the Judge's Act.

The Calgary trial made headlines around the world after it emerged that Camp had repeatedly asked the 19-year-old complainant why she hadn't done more to prevent the alleged rape.

Camp faced an inquiry before the Canadian Judicial Council, and in a 116-page report, determined that though he has made efforts to educate himself after the trial, "education-including social context education-cannot adequately fix the damage caused to public confidence through his conduct of the Wagar Trial".

The committee acknowledged that Mr Camp had expressed remorse and had made a significant effort to fix his ways, but public confidence had been so damaged that he could not return to his position as a provincial court judge in Calgary.

He made the knees comment and also asked her: "Why didn't you just sink your bottom into the basin so he couldn't penetrate you?" and called the complainant "the accused" throughout the trial.

He also told her "pain and sex sometimes go together".

"In other words, Justice Camp's misconduct in the trial adds to the public perception that the justice system is fuelled by systemic bias", reads the report.

"The decision. really does send a strong message to other judges that they must adhere to the principle of equality in their courtrooms", she said.

- Later, when she was in the bathroom, Wagar came in, locked the door and ripped her clothes off, she said.

The inquiry heard a remorseful Camp apologise for his remarks.

In an attempt to save his job, the judge publicly apologized and underwent sensitivity training with a Superior Court judge, a psychologist and an expert in sexual assault law.

Kim Stanton is the executive director of the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund.

Camp can make written submissions before a formal recommendation is made by the council to Wilson-Raybould. As the Canadian Press reports, Camp kept calling the woman "the accused" during his testimony before the Canadian Judicial Council before correcting himself.

The committee determined that he also relied on "myths and stereotypes" about women and victim blaming during the trial and in his judgement.

"In our view, given the seriousness of Justice Camp's misconduct, his apologies, though honest, do not alleviate the harm done to public confidence".

Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley, who asked for the inquiry, said Wednesday's recommendation is an important step.

Camp must go, because of what he represents.

On the subject of sex in general, and sex with young women in particular, he said, "Young wom [e] n want to have sex, particularly if they're drunk".