Saturday, May 15, 2010
BC Rail Case: There is a procedure for taking a complaint to the Canadian Judicial Council
Comment by Canadian Canary:
Any citizen can complain about the conduct of any federally-appointed judge – and all BC Supreme Court Judges are federally appointed. And make no mistake, the CJC will be reluctant to simply sit back and let the public reputation of the Canadian judicial system be damaged.
Yes, the CJC is made up of judges, BUT a complaint to the CJC is a very serious matter and treated as such by this body (in my experience). In addition, the courts in BC are more corrupt than any other court system in Canada, and you can be sure there are members of the judiciary (even some here in BC) who would like to see the rotten apples in the judicial barrel be tossed out. A complaint to the Canadian Judicial Council (or better, complaints from multiple parties) will be treated seriously.
Make your complaints to THE CANADIAN JUDICIAL COUNCIL at:
The complaint process is explained at the above link, and is simple and straight-forward. The complaints can be about any conduct by a judge in or out of the court room – but please note, the CJC will not accept complaints about any final judicial decision. This does not refer to decisions made by a judge within a case, simply that the CJC will not review the actual final decision of a court case. That's the responsibility of courts of appeal.
So, it seems to me that anything to do with the conduct of judges in and out of the courtroom in the BC Rail Corruption Scandal is ripe for a complaint or multiple complaints. That includes everything from the baffling bans, to ... well, others are better able to articulate the multitude of offenses swirling around the BC Rail Corruption Scandal as well as many other cases in BC.
By the way, it costs nothing to make a complaint, and any citizen can do it themselves. All you have to do is articulate the matter that you are concerned about. It would seem to me that someone like Robin Mathews would be well-versed to make one or more complaints, about one or more judges. As might others.
The 150 jury pool won't be so maybe it will be back to the status quo when it was a pre-trial proceedings.
Will the Prosecutor get up and do his one and half intro, followed by the Three lawyers for the defendants with the same amount of time?
Will day two consist of the first witness, Mr. X, and his damning testimony?
Will radio talk show be second line, and considered to be a hostile witness in light of the fact her show was the cauldron in which Kash Heed and Gabriel Yiu came to verbal blows over Mr. Heed's change on how to handle drugs?
Will Mr. Bornman be escorted into chambers via a back room?
Questions, questions, questions...... two days till the balloon goes up on a government that has been struck by not only HST complaints but now by the Court because "B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell's office broke the law by refusing to release cabinet materials to child watchdog Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled Friday.
In a rare judicial rebuke to a sitting premier, Justice Susan Griffin ordered Campbell and Children's Minister Mary Polak to immediately turn over the documents and cover Turpel-Lafond's legal bills." SNIP
Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Government+ordered+hand+over+documents+child+watchdog/3031613/story.html#ixzz0o2Jx2YrX
And who was sitting beside child watchdog Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond.... Ted Hughes who told the Campbell government that they Took the Knife Too Far
After reading the Complaint rules I believe that we have no case for complaining about Robins standing as a reporter. The ruling does not go to the judges conduct.
However Justice Bennett made a ruling that the "publics' right to know is Paramount" and Justice Mackenzie appears to have overturned that decision within the trial. Is her conduct in that apparent over ruling of Justice Bennett sufficient for complaint? I believe so but it may take a lawyer (or Robin) to figure out how to word the complaint without accusing anyone.
Personally I would love to file a complaint here but I just don't see how this situation fits.
Due to recent events in my life I guess I had forgotten his previous posting here on the chance to turn around what is going on in this country. My apologys to Mary and Robin and the rest here for narrowing my focus in this matter
Those who are more knowledgeable than I about the court's actions in the BC Rail Corruption Scandal will be able to identify the area's of judicial conduct that warrant complaint.
So, just to be clear I wasn't necessarily recommending a complaint to the CJC re Robin Mathews, nor am I suggesting there aren't grounds. I simply don't know enough about the details.
My purpose in posting that comment was to let people know that there is a disciplinary body for judges in Canada, and that any citizen can make a complaint.
I envisioned not only complaining about the courtroom conduct but also providing the full context of my unique and evolving case against the political and legal establishment. Obviously, such a submission would be voluminous, but that letter was just three pages long.
I addressed it to the Chair of the CJC, who of course is Canada's Chief Justice, Beverley McLachlin. About three weeks later, I received a one page reply, but it didn't come from the CJC. It was signed by Jill Copeland, Executive Legal Officer of the Supreme Court of Canada.
At the time, I envisioned filing the complaint fairly promptly, but I still haven't done so, partly because the litigation of my case has continued, thus adding to the indictment that I am trying to frame so that the public will fully understand it.
I have nothing good to report about my experiences dealing with B.C.'s juristocracy, and I am wondering what we can reasonably expect from the larger Canadian judicial community. Let's not forget that Canada's Chief Justice herself is an alumnus of the B.C. superior courts.
I have another huge problem with the CJC itself. Every time I went to court I was facing professional counsel, and in most cases they were representing parties who were also members of the Bar. The Canadian Bar Association supported and assisted the CJC and the Canadian Superior Courts Judges Association in their lobbying of the government during the last periodic judicial compensation review. There is one particularly damaging document online - a letter signed by the former CBA President, B.C. lawyer J. Parker MacCarthy Q.C., that was sent to the managing partners of major law firms to encourage them to participate in a survey of lawyers incomes.
It seems that the judges themselves - the CJC and the CSCJA - do not understand the concept of conflict-of-interest.
I'm unclear though whether you simply sent a letter, or if you actually sent a Complaint. Any complaint to the C JC must be clearly labelled in the subject line as a Complaint, otherwise it will not be considered as such.
I take your point about the very worrying collusion at the senior levels of the Canadian judicial system, both federal and provincial. However, I would like to say that if we simply give up, then will will allow collusion and corruption to prevail, and we all will suffer as a result.
Please don't misunderstand me, I am not at all suggesting you have given up (far from it). Self-represented litigants like yourself get an especially rough time in the judicial system (no mystery there, lawyers lose income when people turn away from their services because of lack of trust and/or cost).
My main concern with your comments is that I would not want to see people discouraged from complaining to the CJC about the BC Rail Corruption Scandal, or anything else, if they feel a complaint is warranted.
However, I believe it is extremely important to use the tools of democracy that we do have, and to publish (at this website and anywhere else we can) the wrongs that are being perpetrated in, and by, members of the judiciary. If we put no pressure on them to correct their behaviour it will only continue, or get worse.
Use it or lose it, is the phrase that comes to mind.
I understood your posting. But I did take in context with the Mathews problem, as I assumed others might.
But in no way was I putting your post down. In fact it was very informative and may have helped a lot of people here.
My concern was that some people may forge ahead and file a complaint before understanding full the rules of the CJC. Which in mt narrow focus at the time I may have done had I not previously read the rules.
Please don't feel that I was attempting to negate your post. To the contrary it was very informative.
My letter and the reply are among the many documents I could post online, but I still don't have my own web site.
Meanwhile, I would encourage anyone who has the time and incentive to thoroughly explore the CJC's web site and other sources (both online and print) that help us to understand the judicial establishment. E.G., the SCC, CJC, and CSCJA are part of that establishment. The first two are by definition public institutions, but the CSCJA is not. It's the judge's own association and therefore is not paid for out of the public purse and really has no obligation to serve the public interest. It exists to serve the judges' interest. The Executive Director happens to be the spouse of Canada's Chief Justice. The CJC, a public institution, and the CSCJA, a private institution, were partners in lobbying the government for increased judicial remuneration. I don't know if that in itself was appropriate, but I am certain that the explicit support they accepted from the Canadian Bar Association was not appropriate. Yet the result of that arrangement is well documented. I find it disturbing that none of the people who were involved in the lobbying or the subsequent deliberation questioned the appropriateness of that arrangement.
There is simply no excuse for our elected representatives continuing to ignore the pervasive problems of this sort. I believe that we can and must put in place mechanisms that significantly reduce the concentration of power in a few hands. E.G., I don't believe the legal profession should retain the monopoly it has on "legal services". However, so long as it has that monopoly, we should insist on a complete separation of Bar and Bench. In fact a public debate of these issues is long overdue.