Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Is The Council incapable of impartially toward layperson complainants?

Good Day Readers:

Our west cost correspondent Chris Budgell is a very impressive individual indeed. Without formal legal training he won a very significant case in the British Columbia Superior Court that will benefit future "self-reps." We can't, of course, speak for fellow interveners Alex Chapman and Cher Hazen but our impression on Tuesday when we presented was the bar has been set so high even if you had a Harvard Law Degree your standing was by no means guaranteed. So much or a "Public" Inquiry.

Mr. Chapman was represented by Toronto-based constitution lawyer Rocco Galati while Ms Hazen and CyberSmokeBlog had no one. Is the CJC intervener unfriendly? CSB thinks so! Over the years there have been nine inquiries involving judicial behaviour. We are unaware of any previous interveners. The fact Mr. Chapman was granted limited standing (he and his lawyer Rocco Galati can only participate in the first of four allegations against ACJ Douglas) is significant.

There may be another complaint filed against ACJ Douglas with the CJC so Mr. Budgell is serving as a consultant of sorts.

Clare L. Pieuk

Vancouver, B.C.
V6E 1N7

A. Lori Douglas
Associate Chief Justice (Family Division ) .
Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench V6E
408 York Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3C 0P9

January 6, 2011

Bias and Abuse of Process at the Canadian Judicial Council

Dear Ms. Douglas:

I am a Canadian citizen resident in Vancouver, British Columbia. On October 12 last year, following extensive dealings with B.C.'s superior courts, I filed with the CJC a comprehensive complaint, a copy of which is posted on the Internet at the following address:

On January 5, I received from the Council an email containing a press release about the recent decision regarding the complaint filed against you by Mr. Chapman.

I had made note of the earlier media reports of that complaint because of my concerns that the CJC is institutionally incapable of dealing impartially with the majority of complaints it receives: that is, all complaints brought by parties that are not themselves members of the legal establishment.

By letter dated December 8, 2010, the CJC's Executive Director, Norman Sabourin, informed me that my complaint had been reviewed by the same Council member who has now decided that the allegations against you warrant further investigation. As Chief Justice Wittmann had found that my complaint constituted merely “conjecture” and “rhetoric,” the CJC had dismissed it:

On its face, this letter simply confirms the CJC's institutional bias and the judiciary's inability to act in good faith when dealing with self-represented parties.

I am in no position to offer an opinion about the merits of the complaint against you, but it seems to me that Chief Justice Wittmann was not prepared to summarily dismiss it because the CJC would then have had to send to Mr. Chapman a letter similar to the one I received, resulting in further media coverage that would negatively impact the public perception of the CJC and the judicial community.

I am aware of the history of the Council, and it is my view that Parliament should reconsider its unfortunate decision to grant the judiciary the right of exclusive oversight of itself. This arrangement clearly does not serve, but in fact undermines, the public interest.

You may wish to consider the relevance to your own circumstance of the issues I am raising.

Realistically, I don't see how the CJC can provide you with due process if it is not capable of deliberating impartially and providing due process in dealing with every complaint.

Chris Budgell
Vancouver, B.C.

Copies to:

Norman Sabourin, Executive Director, Canadian Judicial Council (

Andre Garin, Executive Legal Officer, Supreme Court of Canada (

Peter Milliken, Speaker of the House of Commons (

Noel Kinsella, Speaker of the Senate (

Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (

Frank McArdle, Executive Director, CSCJA (


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