Monday, November 24, 2014

The Canadian Judicial Council would be out of it's collective mind not to accept the deal!

Good Day Readers:

Had a notice from the CJC the hearing will reconvene at 2:15 today.

The Canadian Judicial Council really has no choice but to accept the deal otherwise it risks dragging on this sordid affair even longer at taxpayer expense.

Suppose the Inquiry went to its natural conclusion. Only two conclusions would have been possible. She remain on the bench or she not. If the former the House of Commons and the Senate would have had to ratify the decision. so what do they do send her back and give her an office next to Vic Toews pretending none of this happened? If that happened can you imagine the outcry from women and their advocacy groups. Vote to remove her from the bench and the Canadian Judicial Council could have breathed much easier.

The Inquiry has been a huge embarrassment for the Council on a few levels. Beyond the time and public cost it has consumed, it has painfully shown the inadequacies in the CJC complaints discipline procedures, as sell as, the severely flawed way federal judges are appointed in Canada.

Right about now the boys and girls in the inner sanctum of The Council must be heaving a huge collective sigh of relief.- "Thank you Lori Douglas for letting us off the hook." And so ends another sordid chapter in the annals of Canadian jurisprudence but there'll be others..

Sincerely,
Clare L Pieuk
Lori Douglas judge in nude photos case, offers deal to retire

Monday, November 24, 2014

Senior Manitoba Judge Lori Douglas has proposed a deal to retire, just ahead of a hearing into whether she should be kicked off the bench over nude photos of her that appeared on the internet.

Douglas's lawyer, Sheila Block, said the agreement was struck with theCanadian Judicial Council (CJC) to stay the proceedings in return for Douglas to retire in May 2015.

The three-person panel hearing the case in Winnipeg still has to approve the proposed settlement. A decision is expected Monday afternoon.

Lori Douglas case to start anew with sex photos off-limits
Lori Douglas wins temporary ban on nude photos at disciplinary hearing

The complaint against Douglas, an associate chief justice, arose after her now-late husband, Jack King, took graphic photos of her — some of which depict bondage — and posted them on an internet site without her knowledge or permission in 2003.

Douglas faces allegations that she failed to disclose the photos whenshe applied to become a judge in 2004 and that the pictures could undermine public confidence in the justice system.

The panel had set aside 10 days for the hearing, which was expected to receive testimony from 23 witnesses. Douglas's lawyers had fought for a ban on the use of graphic sex photographs during the hearing.

Federal Court Judge Richard Mosley ruled in their favour on Friday, raising questions about how the hearing would proceed without photos central to the allegations against her .

The following is the statement read by Sheila Block to the CJC panel:

Rising to ask you to stay this hearing so that a settlement agreed to by the Canadian judicial Council with ACJ Lori Douglas can bring an end to the proceedings and all the many court related processes that are ongoing or will arise if the matter continues.

Here are the terms of the settlement the two parties, CJC and ACJDouglas, have agreed upon [for] the cessation of the hearing by way of a stay. ACJ Douglas will submit her notice electing early retirement as of May 21, 2015. It is signed and in the hands of the committee for judicial affairs and will be sent to the minister immediately on the settlement. ACJ Douglas will be given back by the CJC all the photos it possessed and distributed to anyone through the CJC so she may destroy them.

CJC states it respects her decision to elect early retirement. CJC will respect this committee's decision to stay the proceedings to facilitate the resolution. The CJC states that there is no public interest in further expanding public funds for ongoing proceedings when the judge is retiring in that time frame. It also agrees there is no public interest in pursuing the various options before the federal courts and ACJ Douglas agrees as does the CJC to discontinue these various actions once the retirement takes effect and no further funds or judicial resources will be expensed in the meantime.

The CJC states that no conclusions should be drawn about the merits of the allegations against ACJ Douglas or about the merits of any of the issues before the courts. When the CJC says it respects ACJ Douglas' decision to elect to retire it has been advised of her reasons. For her part in the trauma of the past four years has taken a grave toll on her, on her family, those who have stood by her.

On a personal level she has been devastated by the death of her mother and her husband during this. Even though she loved being a judge and considered it an honour and privilege to serve she is at the point where this is the best choice for her, for her son and elderly father, for her late husband's children and the rest of her family.

To withstand more weeks of hearing into intensely private matters and risk the viewing of her intimate images by colleagues and others is more than she can bear. So she is voluntarily giving up her constitutionally secure tenure at her right to use this process to fight for that and for her vindication in the process. It is common ground that the proceedings before the courts which are connected to this case will not be completed by the early retirement date and accordingly a great deal of public resources both funds and judicial resources will be saved in the public interest by this consentual resolution with the CJC.

The CJC in assessing this resolution and agreed to it is of course regulated required to act in the public interest that is its mandate both the CJC and the judge agree this should be resolved and that this resolution is in the public interest.

With files from The Canadian Press

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