A hearing is to begin Tuesday into the future of a federal judge who asked a sexual assault complainant why she couldn’t keep her knees together.
The Canadian Judicial Council is to determine whether Justice Robin Camp should lose his job for the comment he made in 2014 while a provincial court judge in Calgary.
Court transcripts show he also questioned the woman’s morals, suggested that her attempts to fight off her attacker were feeble and described her as “the accused” throughout the trial.
Camp acquitted the man of sexual assault, but the verdict was overturned on appeal and a new trial was ordered.
Hearings such as this are not common — there have only been 11 since the council was created in 1971
The judge has indicated he wants to remain on the bench and will issue an apology.
“I think we will hear from the judge. I’m not quite sure when that might be,” said Johanna Laporte, the judicial council’s communications director.
“I believe the judge intends to call one or two witnesses. I believe he’s been working with an expert in gender sensitivity and someone else and they may be called as witnesses.”
Laporte said the judicial council takes all complaints and allegations of judicial misconduct seriously.
It’s alleged Camp made comments that “reflected an antipathy” toward laws meant to protect vulnerable witnesses, engaged in “stereotypical or biased thinking” and asked the complainant questions that relied on “discredited, stereotypical assumptions” of how one should behave following a sexual assault.
WATCH: Sexual assault advocates Deb Singh and Lenore Lukasik-Foss give their thoughts about Robin Camp’s conduct in the sexual assault trial
“That kind of comment goes back to the dinosaur age as far as I’m concerned,” said Danielle Aubry, executive director of Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse.
“Sure there’s an apology, perhaps, that might be coming, but that doesn’t take away from the additional hurt that this person experienced.”
The review committee will make recommendations to the full judicial council. If it decides Camp should be removed from the bench, the final decision lies with the federal justice minister.
WATCH: The fallout grew in Nov. 2015 over controversial comments made by a Calgary judge presiding over a sexual assault case.