South African born judge resigns over rape comments

2017-03-10 12:13
Judge Robin Camp (Federal Court of Canada)

Judge Robin Camp (Federal Court of Canada)

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Ottawa — A judge who asked a woman why she couldn't keep her knees together after she alleged sexual assault in a trial said on Thursday that he is resigning from the bench.

Justice Robin Camp, who was born in South Africa and graduated from Stellenbosch University, said in a statement released by his lawyer that he will resign effective on Friday. Camp said he's sorry for the hurt he has caused.

The council's decision supported a recommendation by a disciplinary panel that reviewed the original sexual assault trial of Alexander Wagar.

Court transcripts from the 2014 trial in Calgary show that Camp, who was a provincial court judge at the time, called the complainant "the accused" numerous times and told her "pain and sex sometimes go together".

Camp found Wagar not guilty, but the Appeal Court ordered a new trial. Last month, Wagar was acquitted again.

The council said that Canadians expect their judges to know the law, have empathy and to recognise and question any past personal attitudes that might prevent them from acting fairly.

Four of the council's 23 members did not support the decision, saying they agreed that Camp's comments amounted to judicial misconduct, but were in favour of recommending a sanction short of removal.

Camp's lawyer, Frank Addario, had previously argued that his client should be allowed to keep his current job as a federal court judge.

"Removal is not necessary to preserve public confidence in this case. Justice Camp's misconduct was the product of ignorance, not animus. He has worked hard to correct his knowledge deficit," Addario wrote in a rebuttal submission to the judicial council.

Read more on:    canada  |  crime

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