OTTAWA – The Canadian Judicial Council has concluded that a New Brunswick judge was late in explaining her rulings in some cases but says she has promised to do better in the future.
The national body says it fielded a complaint about Judge Paulette Garnett of the province’s Court of Queen’s Bench that raised concerns about long delays in issuing reasons for some of her decisions.
The council says the matter was reviewed by Robert Pidgeon, senior associate chief justice with the Quebec Superior Court, who expressed his concerns to Garnett that undue delays in providing decisions can lessen public confidence in the justice system.
The group says Pidgeon found several cases where Garnett took longer than six months to give her decision.
It’s the council’s policy that judges should render decisions within six months of hearing a case, except in complex matters or where there are special circumstances.
The council says Garnett has acknowledged she needs to do better and is working to ensure that such situations don’t happen again.
The council also says it received a complaint about Garnett’s attitude and demeanour in one case and she has apologized to the complainant for being unnecessarily abrupt in that matter.
© 2014 The Canadian Press