Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The Inquiry?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Inquiry requires citizen oversight!"

The Lawyers Weekly article shows why the public does not really trust lawyers or judges to self-regulate in the public interest. Regarding the Douglas matter, Independent Counsel appears to have come very close to recommending that the Inquiry proceed no further.

The Inquiry Panel rejected this view and commented that Independent Counsel may not have understood their proper role in previous inquiries, provoking the predictable howls of protest from those quarters.

The plain fact of the matter is that the role of Counsel for Douglas is as it should be - to provide her with the best defence possible. And the Judge's Counsel have obviously been doing just that to the point where Independent Counsel appears to have been on the verge of recommending tat the Inquiry proceed no further.

The Inquiry Panel have now directed that Independent Counsel bring all facts and allegations before it so it may discharge its duty fully.

Was Independent Counsel "out-lawyered" by the Judge's Counsel? Did Independent Counsel think that the image of an unimpeachable judiciary must be maintained at all costs? Did Independent Counsel think that Douglas' reputation could be repaired by a finding of the CJC in her favour or by a dismissal of the 
complaint? Did the Judge's Counsel become too cozy and influential with Independent Counsel so that they were thinking alike?

We will never know but the public will certainly speculate on everything that happens from now on. Independent Counsel came perilously close to creating a situation that the public would have certainly regarded as a white wash.

Only the complete truth purifies ..... 

Dear Anonymous:

Thank you very much for contacting CyberSmokeBlog. Your comments are indeed insightful and questions pertinent, as well as, germane to the discussion.The Lawyers Weekly article to which you refer (Counsel rebut CJC criticisms - Disagreement over role of independent counsel in past probe of judges, Cristin Schmitz June 6, 2012 Issue) triggered our same day response (Why the Douglas Inquiry requires citizen oversight!

Pardon our Queen's English but TLW article rightly or wrongly struck us as an organization struggling to "get it's you know what together." Rightly or wrongly, without citizen overview the Douglas Inquiry will come across to the public as lawyers arguing with other lawyers about another lawyer who happens to be a judge. That's the bad news.

The good news? To the best of our knowledge there are at least three individuals who will be seeking intervener standing: Alex Chapman who found himself in the middle of this sordid affair; a young lady who has appeared previously before ACJ Douglas in a child custody related proceeding; and, yes, CSB.We view the process as a demolition derby were Counsel for both sides will try to find something/anything to have applicant arguments dismissed.

Although at times we feel like were flogging a dead horse on the oversight issue that's no reason not to continue trying.
At the May 19th pre-Inquiry Hearing held in Winnipeg we were able to stave off elimination because Counsel for both sides had overlooked a loophole. To the Review Panel's credit it agreed so we lived to fight another day. Let's see if we can avoid the "cut" next time around.

You'll be glad to know, Anonymous, your letter has unleashed a mini-flood of e-mail regarding the Douglas Inquiry which we hope to get to in the next few days/weeks.

Clare L. Pieuk


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