A look at the legal career and trial that led to judge Robin Camp controversy
CALGARY – An inquiry committee of the Canadian Judicial Council has recommended federal Justice Robin Camp lose his job for asking a sexual assault complainant in a 2014 trial why she couldn’t keep her knees closed. The accused, Alexander Wagar, was acquitted by Camp, who was a provincial court judge at the time, but that decision was overturned.
Here is a look at some of the information the court heard at Wagar’s retrial in November:
— Wagar and the complainant, who can’t be named under a publication ban, were at a house party in Calgary on Dec. 14, 2011. The woman, who is now 24, told court she had been living in homeless shelters and had alcohol and drug addictions.
— She said Wagar had been “flirty” and was making it clear he wanted to have sex with her. “He was telling me I was skinny and pretty and had a nice body,” she testified.
— Later, when she was in the bathroom, Wagar came in, locked the door and ripped her clothes off, she said. “He was starting to hurt me. I told him to stop,” she testified. “I was scared. I was very drunk.”
— The sexual assault lasted 15 to 20 minutes, she said.
— Wagar testified that the sex was consensual. He said the two had been smoking pot in the bathroom before it happened and he decided to “go for it.”
— “She didn’t shy away from me in any shape or form,” he said. “She said she liked me.”
— Wagar testified that he would have stopped if the woman said no, but he acknowledged under cross-examination that the complainant “never said ‘yes’ directly.”
— Judge Jerry LeGrandeur said he will deliver a verdict Jan. 31.
Here are some details of Camp’s legal career:
— Camp receives a bachelor of laws degree in 1975 from Stellenbosch University in South Africa. He goes on to serve as an advocate of the Supreme Court of the Transvaal and works as a lawyer in Botswana until 1998.
— Camp successfully completes challenge exams to requalify as a lawyer in Canada in 1998. He is admitted to the Alberta bar in 1999.
— Camp practises law with the Duncan McCachen/Duncan Camp firm in Calgary until 2003.
— He moves to JSS Barristers in Calgary in 2004 and practices there until 2012, becoming a managing partner in 2008. Former Alberta premier Alison Redford’s ex-husband, Robert Hawkes, is a partner with the firm.
— Camp teaches a course at the University of Calgary’s faculty of law in 2011.
— Redford’s cabinet votes to appoint Camp a provincial court judge on March 15, 2012.
— Camp presides over a 2014 sex assault trial in which he makes the controversial comments that will eventually lead to a Canadian Judicial Council hearing into his conduct. Camp acquits the accused, but the verdict is overturned on appeal and a new trial is ordered.
— Peter MacKay, federal Conservative justice minister at the time, names Camp a Federal Court judge on June 26, 2015.
— On Sept. 9, 2016, Camp apologizes for the comments he made at the sexual assault trial. He tells a Canadian Judicial Council panel hearing that he wishes he had never said what he did. “I was not the good judge I thought I was,” he said. “I struck the wrong tone in counsel submissions. I was rude and facetious.”