A Canadian judge is facing a disciplinary hearing over controversial comments he made while presiding over a sexual assault case in 2014.
Justice Robin Camp, a provincial judge in Calgary, asked an alleged sexual assault victim why she couldn’t “merely keep her knees together”.
The verdict was overturned on appeal, although the accused man was acquitted by Mr Camp.
The Canadian Judicial Council will determine whether Mr Camp should be removed over his remarks.
Disciplinary hearings for judges are unusual in Canada, where there have only been 11 such inquiries since the national council of senior judges was created in 1971.
Mr Camp triggered indignation during the 2014 case, when he requested a 19-year-old girl, “Why could not you simply keep your knees together?”
He also said, “pain and sex occasionally go together” and had referred to the complainant as “the accused,” court records show.
The woman told the court Alexander Scott Wagar over a toilet sink raped her at a house party in Calgary.
The Alberta Appeal Court overturned Mr Camp’s verdict and a new trial was ordered for Mr Wagar.
Mr Camp had since been elevated to the Federal Court.
The allegations against Mr Camp comprise:
that his remarks “reflected an antipathy” toward laws geared toward protecting vulnerable witnesses
used “stereotypical or biased believing”
asked the alleged victim questions predicated on “discredited, stereotypical premises” of how one should act after a sexual assault
Mr Camp intends to appear before the panel, which is comprised of three judges, who are council members, and two senior lawyers.
He’s expected to apologise for his opinions and say he has participated in counselling and training with a sexual assault legal expert, a psychologist and a superior court judge.
“He believes he can make a positive contribution as a member of the Canadian judiciary,” a notice of response on Mr Camp’s position said on the council’s website.
“He will strive to keep improving and to keep learning.”
The question is expected to last several days and the panel will make a recommendation to the full Canadian Judicial Council.
Mr Camp is not permitted to hear cases in accordance with a Federal Court order.