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CJC panel to investigate Quebec judge

Friday, September 06, 2019 @ 3:38 PM | By Cristin Schmitz

The Canadian Judicial Council has constituted an inquiry committee to examine whether Quebec Superior Court Justice Gérard Dugré committed misconduct that could justify his removal from office, following separate complaints from litigants that he took too long to render judgment and allegedly behaved inappropriately toward the parties and counsel in a family law proceeding.

On Sept. 6, the disciplinary body for Canada’s 1,224 federally appointed judges said that a judicial conduct review panel, comprising three members of the council of 39 chief justices, as well as one puisne judge and one member of the public, reviewed two sets of unproven allegations: one relating to the judge’s alleged use of intemperate and inappropriate language; the other relating to delay in issuing decisions. The CJC said the panel was aware of a previous matter of the same nature which could demonstrate a pattern in not rendering decisions in a timely way.

After hearing also from the judge and his chief justice, the panel concluded that “the matter might be serious enough to warrant the removal of the judge.” Therefore, under the law, an inquiry committee had to be struck. The names of its members, which will have a majority of CJC members, will be made public in the coming weeks.