September 6, 2016, Calgary
Today the inquiry into the conduct of Justice Robin Camp (during a 2014 sexual assault trial in Alberta) begins. A national Coalition of women’s organizations, including the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), was granted leave to intervene in the inquiry. In the 2014 trial, Justice Camp infamously asked the complainant, a 19 year old Indigenous woman who was homeless at the time of the assault, “Why couldn’t you just keep your knees together?” The hearing into Justice Camp’s conduct will take place in Calgary from September 6 to 9. Please click here to read the Coalition’s submission.
Why the Coalition Intervened
The CJC’s Notice of Allegations states that Justice Camp engaged in stereotypical assumptions about the behaviour of sexual assault complainants, victim-blaming, and trivialized the assault allegations. Of particular concern to LEAF is the aspect of the Notice of Allegations that states: “the Judge made comments which reflected an antipathy towards legislation designed to protect the integrity of vulnerable witnesses, and designed to maintain the fairness and effectiveness of the justice system”. Justice Camp also referred to the complainant as “the accused” throughout the trial and made derogatory remarks to the Crown prosecutor. The Coalition’s written submissions make arguments regarding the systemic impact of judicial conduct such as that of Justice Camp on sexual assault survivors. The Coalition intervened to ensure that a feminist voice for survivors will be heard in this inquiry.
LEAF is grateful to pro bono counsel for the Coalition, Nitya Iyer of Lovett Westmacott and Alison Gray of Bennett Jones, for their representation. Our submission is available here.
For Media Inquiries:
Dr. Kim Stanton | Legal Director | Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) | [email protected] | 416-595-7170