Victory

Remove Justice Bernd Zabel and protect the integrity of Ontario's justice system

This petition made change with 34 supporters!


The Ontario Court of Justice judge, Judge Bernd Zabel, wore a hat that read “Make America Great Again,” a campaign slogan used by the U.S. president-elect. By doing so, justice  Zabel exposed his biases and endorsed Donald Trump's campaign, which was based on racism, sexism and xenophobia.

Not only this is an incredibly poor judgment and disrespect for the Ontario’s judicial system, his conduct gave the appearance of a conflict of interest - "clearly unbecoming" of a judge.  

I am a young lawyer, who grew up in his legal career hearing many stories of bitter experience from lawyers of color. I do not ever want to face a judge who endorses the view that I should be banned from entering a country because of my religious beliefs. I cannot represent a client, who was sexually assaulted, in front of a judge who thinks that a corrupt rich man can make "America great again" by grabbing women by p***sy.

We are already struggling to promote equality and diversity within the legal profession and the justice system. We are faced with many challenges to ensure access to justice, minimize over-representation of the aboriginal population in our prison system and eradicate disproportionate sentencing of minorities.

We cannot afford to have a judge making us lose faith in our justice system. 

The Process for Removing a Judge in Ontario: 

A judge should be removed "only for cause related to the capacity to perform judicial functions" by being in a "position incompatible with the due execution of office".

The judges of the inferior courts hold office during good behaviour but are removable by the Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Justice, following an inquiry or investigation and report by the Canadian Judicial Council, pursuant to ss. 40 and 41 of the Judges Act, R.S.C. 1970, c. J‑1. Under these sections, which provide for an inquiry or investigation by the Council into the conduct or capacity of a judge of a superior, district or county court or of the Tax Court of Canada, the Council is empowered to recommend the removal of a judge.

The grounds on which it may do so, as set out in s. 41, are that the judge has become incapacitated or disabled from the due execution of office by age or infirmity, by having been guilty of misconduct, by having failed in the due execution of office, or by having been placed by misconduct or otherwise in a position incompatible with the due execution of office.

Alternatively, Justice Zabel can be removed upon an address of the legislature

Valente v. The Queen, [1985] 2 S.C.R. at 29-30 available online: https://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/item/108/index.do

 We believe that Justice Zabel put himself in a "position incompatible with the due execution of office".

We call Justice Zabel to step down, but in the event that he denies, we request the Canadian Judicial Council, the Minister of Justice and the Governor in Council to take appropriate step to remove him from the office. 

 

 

 

 



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