INQUIRY COMMITTEE DECISIONS

Under the Judges Act, Parliament granted power to the Canadian Judicial Council to investigate and rule on complaints about the conduct – not the decisions – of federally appointed judges. In some cases, the Council will establish an Inquiry Committee to investigate the complaint. The Inquiry Committee prepares a written report of its investigation and those reports are available to the public.

The complaint process is described fully in this website, but generally, when the Council receives a complaint about a judge, a member of the Council’s Judicial Conduct Committee reviews the complaint and decides how the matter should be handled. Handling the complaint may range from asking the judge in question to respond to the complaint, to holding a full inquiry into the matter. It may result in the Council recommending to the Minister of Justice that the judge be removed from office.

Since its inception in 1971, the Council has referred eleven complaints to an Inquiry Committee for formal investigation. The section below provides links to those reports.

Note also that the Council publishes an Annual Report every year that summarizes some of the complaints against judges received that year, and how the complaints were resolved.

Inquiries

Newbould (ongoing)Proceedings and reports regarding Justice Frank J. C. Newbould of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

Girouard (ongoing)Proceedings and reports regarding Mr Justice Michel Girouard of the Superior Court of Quebec.

Camp (March 2017)Proceedings and reports regarding Mr Justice Robin Camp of the Federal Court.

Girouard (April 2016)Proceedings and reports regarding Mr Justice Michel Girouard of the Superior Court of Quebec.

Déziel (December 2015)Proceedings and reports regarding Mr Justice Michel Déziel of the Superior Court of Quebec.

Douglas (May 2015)Proceedings and reports regarding Associate Chief Justice Lori Douglas of the Court of Queen's Bench of Manitoba.

Cosgrove (March 2009)Proceedings and reports regarding Mr Justice Paul Cosgrove of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario.

Matlow (December 2008)Proceedings and reports regarding Mr Justice Theodore Matlow of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

Flynn (March 2003) – [PDF] Inquiry Committee’s report to the Minister of Justice regarding Mr Justice Bernard Flynn of the Superior Court of Quebec.

Boilard (December 2003) – [PDF] Inquiry Committee’s report to the Minister of Justice regarding Mr Justice Jean-Guy Boilard of the Superior Court of Quebec.

Flahiff (April 1999) – [PDF] Inquiry Committee’s decision on preliminary issues in the case of Mr Justice Robert Flahiff of the Superior Court of Quebec.

Bienvenue (June 1996) – [PDF] Inquiry Committees’ report to the Minister of Justice regarding Mr Justice Jean Bienvenue of the Superior Court of Quebec.

Gratton (February 1994) – [PDF] Inquiry Committee’s decision regarding its jurisdiction to conduct an inquiry about Mr Justice Gratton of the Ontario Court of Justice.

Hart, Jones and Macdonald (August 1990) (the "Marshall" case) – [PDF] Inquiry Committee’s report at the Attorney General of Nova Scotia’s request regarding the removal from office of three judges: Mr Justice Gordon Hart, Mr Justice Malachi Jones, and Mr Justice Angus Macdonald.