The Chief Justice of the provincial courts in Ontario will be examining whether there should be steps taken on grounds of sexual assault education for judges. This was revealed by the attorney journal this week, and will be headed by two private member’s bills, which will tackle the problem. One will be from a member of the governing liberals and the other will be from the Progressive Conservatives, who will press for training.
The bill was introduced by Laurie Scott, who also had a hand in the PC bill, and revealed that she was inspired by the judicial examples that occurred recently. Robin Camp, who has since resigned, asked a sexual assault victim, in a trial in Alberta, why she couldn’t keep her knees together.
There have also been calls made to review remarks made by Judge Gregory Lenehan, who acquitted a taxi driver that had committed sexual assault, by claiming that ‘a drunk can give consent’. There is no news from Attorney General Yasir Naqvi, who was also the government house leader, on whether the government is supporting the bill, but has discussed it with and written to Lise Maisonneuve, the Ontario Court Chief Justice.
There is no doubt about the fact that there is growing concern about the need to educate judges on various issues, such as sexual assault, and steps are being taken. However, the government shouldn’t try to get involved with judicial independence, because politicians have no role in telling judges what they can, or can’t do.
The good news is that the Ontario Court Chief Justice recognizes the importance and value of sexual assault education, and that is extremely good news for the courts, and the judges in Canada.