Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The day "Justice Roadkill" committed his own road kill!

William Ian Cornell Binnie

Good Day Readers:

It seems Canada's legal establishment speaking figuratively, of course, has an incestuous relationship in that the same names keep coming up again and again and .....

The the previous posting by Vancouver-based contributor Chris Budgell (The Train Wreck and The CCCL ..... a first novel by Christeropher J. Budgell) contains a link to William Bennie. Mr. Budgell, an outstanding lay[person legal researcher and no stranger to the province's legal system - not to mention the Canadian Judicial Council, has been a self-rep for years. In 2008 he won an important victory successfully challenging certain sections of the province's Labour Relations Act in appearances before the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

More recently, he filed an application in the Federal Court of Canada for a judicial review of the CJC's summary dismissal of two complaints he registered against federally appointed Justices (alleged conflict of interest).

Chis Budgell is camera shy but can be seen furtively undertaking research in legal libaries. Should you spot him be sure to say, "Hello from CyberSmokeBlog.

Which brings us to Kari D. Simpson another Vancouverite who, like Mr. Budgell, has no formal legal training but is also a superb legal researcher and writer. Both think like attorneys - someone should tell them they're not. While CyberSmokeBlog is not Philadelphia lawyers, nevertheless, it recognizes outstanding talent.

Justice Roadkill wrote the 2008 Supreme Court of Canada decision in Simpson versus Mair & WIC stating in part::
If you look at some of these public affairs programs, of course they are intended to sir up and you can't say everybody believes everything they say. But when what they say is highly damaging to a particular individual, and you really say, "we're sorry, you are road kill in this debate, but it is an important debate?"

Kari Simpson was called a lot of nasty names by Rafe Mair - the list is long and ugly - but she had never been referred to as road kill.For those who know the facts, of this case and know Kari Simpson, well, she will never be road kill. This story is just beginning.

And with that RoadKill Radio was born (http://www.driveforjustice.com)
RoadKill Founder Kari D. Simpson
It seems "Justice Roadkill" has committee a little of his own road kill.
Judge Joe Brown: "Oy vey Justice Roadkill!"

Clare L. Pieuk
Supreme Court's Binnie Apologizes for Gay Slur
Remark in speech about 'faggoty dressup party' draws fire

By Kirk Makin, Justice Reporter
Friday, March 13, 1998

The Supreme Court of Canada's newest judge moved swiftly yesterday to defuse an uproar in the legal community over his public use of a phrase derogatory to homosexuals.

In a letter of apology to the Dean of Osgood Hall Law School, Mr. Justice Ian Binnie apologized for using the phrase "faggoty dressup party" during a speech to a school gathering last Saturday.

The incident took place at a large dinner to initiate new members of the Osgood Hall "Inn" (Branch) of a 130-year-old international legal fraternity, Phil Delta Phi.

During his keynote speech to about 200 law students, judges and other legal luminaries, Judge Binnie made jocular reference to an instruction found in a booklet laying out some fraternity initiation rituals.

"The use of the fraternity flag, wigs, candles and dramatic lighening will vary depending on the setting, character and tradition of the Inn," he quoted the pamphlet as saying.

Judge Binnie then remarked that upon seeing the instruction, he had wondered whether he would be attending some kind of "faggoty dressup party."

A woman in the audience recalled yesterday that there was an immediate stir among those in attendance. "There was some nervous laughter and a lot of people whispering back and forth, 'Did he really say that?" ' said in an interview.

In his letter to Dean Marilyn Pilkington, Judge Binnie explained that when he noticed the phrase in the booklet, it brought to mind a Globe and Mail theatre review many years ago in which the critic had characterized a production of Macbeth as "a faggoty dressup party."

He said the comment just "popped out" of his mouth, and he doesn't subscribe to the pejorative attitude that lies behind such words.

"Sometimes as here, expressions that stick in your mind lose their original edge and significance with the passage of time," wrote the judge, who was appointed to the Bench in January from his private law practice with the megafirm McCarthy Tetrault.

The woman who was present at the dinner - she asked to remain anonymous - said there has been considerable discussion among those who heard the remark about whether Judge Binnie's comment betrayed a hidden bias against gays.

"It may be an indication that he doesn't really perceive gays and lesbians to be a disadvantaged group in Canada," she said. That is a subject that is currently being contested in the Supreme Court.

She said she didn't think he would use a racial slur, "but if a member of the Supreme Court believes it is okay in an after-dinner speech to make a derogatory comment about gays, it means he doesn't think it is wrong to discriminate against people on grounds of sexual orientation."

New Democratic Party MP Svend Robinson, a leading gay-rights activist said in an interview yesterday that he was very upset when he heard of Judge Binnie's remark.

"The words are deeply offensive, and for a Supreme Court Judge to use that kind of language is totally inappropriate," Mr. Robinson said.

He said he called Ms. Pilkington on Wednesday and asked her to let Judge Binnie know it was imperative that he publicly apologize for the remark, "She said she would communicate the message to him," Mr. Robinson said.

He said he initially considered lodging a complaint about Judge Binnie with the Canadian Judicial Council, but has dropped the idea. "I have to give him credit," Mr. Robinson said, "He acted very quickly and apologized. I think the matter is closed."

Nevertheless, Mr. Robinson said, the matter should sound a loud warning to Judge Binie that he has departed his former life as a private lawyer with a reputation for delivering thigh-slapping, irreverent speeches.

"This will be a strong lesson in how the world of the Supreme Court of Canada is very different than the world of McCsrthy's," he said. "If anything, it is going to heighten his sensitivity to the profound importance of language."

Mr. Robinson said the remark would hardly have come at a more sensitive time. New week, the court is scheduled to hear arguments on a case involving the disposition of assets after the breakup of a gay partnership.

"The timing is terrible, coming on the eve of the court hearing, " Mr. Robinson said.

He also noted that immediately after Judge Binnie's appointment, there were concerns expressed in some corners of the gay community about him. As a litigator, Judge Binnie had represented a fundamentalist Christian group that sought to oppose a gay-rights issue before the court.


Welcome to This is your life William Ian Cornell Binnie!
Host Ralph Edwards

Just in from Chris Budgell:

Binnie is the first name and Wittmann the last name on this CCCL list (http://www.cccl.org/honourary_fellows.htm).

I've just noticed Wagner's name above Wittmann's. Richard Wagner was recently appointed to the SCC, and in this article it says he was a founding member of the CCCL in 1998 (http://www.slaw.ca/2012/10/02/richard-wagner-from-the-cour-dappel-to-the-cour-supreme/).

I haven't really been following the story of that inquiry in Montreal. Who is running it?

France Charbonneau, Quebec Superior Court Justice

Wikipedia provides directions to his current digs.

Got comments/questions for Chris Budgell? He can be contacted at cjbudgell@gmail.com


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