Remove Justice Robin Camp from the bench, and restore women's confidence in the judicial system
WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre urges the Canadian Judicial Council to take the Inquiry Committee’s recommendation that Justice Camp be removed from the bench to the Minister of Justice and restore confidence in the justice system.
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Judge Camp gained international notoriety for his comments in court that included asking the survivor "Why (she) couldn't just keep (her) legs together", why she didn't scream louder, and why she didn't "sink (her) bottom" into the bathroom sink to avoid being raped.
The Inquiry Committee recommended Justice Camp be removed on the basis that his comments and questions during this sexual assault trial revealed gender-biased and myth-based thinking. Now it is up to the Canadian Judicial Council to decide whether or not this case should be brought forth to the Minister of Justice, Jody Wilson-Raybould.
The Inquiry Committee recommendation is important because the justice system has too often failed sexual assault survivors by allowing prejudicial thinking to prevail.
We support the Inquiry Committee’s report and recommendations, which takes a strong stance against gender bias, stereotypes and rape myths in the justice system. In our view, as noted by the Inquiry Committee “an antipathy towards laws designed to protect vulnerable witnesses, promote equality, and bring integrity to sexual assault trials” harms the rule of law, and results in a lack of confidence in the justice system by our society’s most vulnerable.
Intervening and speaking up on this issue is an exercise of our constitutional right to hold systems, institutions and individual perpetrators accountable. It is unfortunate that we must stress that this is not an “organized campaign” about “political correctness,” as some claim. This is about the ability to deliver justice in the absence of rape myths and misogyny. Every year we teach hundreds of high school students that the words we use reveal our beliefs and prejudices and that this has material consequences in the lives of others. Surely Justice Camp can understand this.
We would urge Justice Camp, as an individual and high profile public figure, to maintain an ongoing commitment to learning and change by contributing his time, money, and energy toward ending sexualized violence against women and supporting survivors. We hope he will be motivated to pursue accountability to the community off the bench.
Together we can influence the decision of the council, and together we can encourage women's confidence in the courts.
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- Canadian Judicial Council
Remove Justice Robin Camp from the bench, and restore women's faith in the judicial system
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