Canadian Judicial Council constitutes a public inquiry into the conduct of the Honourable F.J.C. Newbould

Ottawa, 13 February 2017 – The Canadian Judicial Council announced today that an Inquiry Committee will be held under the Judges Act about the Honourable Frank J.C. Newbould of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

The decision was made by a Judicial Conduct Review Panel of 5 members which, in accordance with Council’s 2015 procedures brought in additional transparency and public participation to the process. The Panel was comprised of three members of Council, 1 puisne judge and 1 layperson.

Members of the Panel reviewed allegations relating to the judge’s participation in a debate on a proposed settlement to a boundary dispute which was the subject of a land claim involving a First Nation in Ontario. After a careful review of the matter, the Panel agreed that if proven, the allegations surrounding the intervention of Justice Newbould in the context of a court case, could be so serious that they may warrant the judge’s removal from office. Accordingly, an Inquiry Committee must hear the matter.

It’s important to note that all allegations regarding the judge have not been proven. The Inquiry Committee will have the responsibility of establishing the facts about this case and of presenting a report to the Council.

In accordance with Council’s Inquiries and Investigations by-Laws, the Inquiry Committee will be comprised of an uneven number of members, the majority of which will be Council members. The Minister of Justice will be invited to designate one or more members of the Bar. In accordance with the Council’s By-laws, the Minister has 60 days to respond to this invitation.

Additional details, including the names of the Inquiry Committee members and of Independent Counsel, will be made public over the coming weeks.

Information about the role of the Canadian Judicial Council in administering an effective complaints review process, including its Complaints Procedures, and Policies regarding Inquiries can be found on the Council’s website at www.cjc-ccm.ca.

Contact:
Norman Sabourin
Executive Director and Senior General Counsel
(613) 288-1566 ext 313