Canadian Judicial Council completes its review of the conduct of the Honourable Susanne Goodman
Ottawa, 23 August 2018 – The Canadian Judicial Council (CJC) has completed its review of the conduct of the Honourable Susanne R. Goodman of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario. The review of Justice Goodman’s conduct was initiated by the Executive Director following the Ontario Court of Appeal’s comments regarding her failure to give reasons in the R v Sliwka matter, as well as an apparent pattern of inordinate delays.
The review was led by the Honourable Michael MacDonald, Chairperson of the Judicial Conduct Committee. Having considered the matter fully, including comments received from Justice Goodman herself and from her Chief Justice, and having satisfied himself that a number of accommodations and remedial measure were implemented, Chief Justice MacDonald has decided to close the matter. In closing the matter, Chief Justice MacDonald cautioned that “a superior court judge must have the capacity and ability to perform all of the normal judicial functions that attach to the office. One of these judicial functions is to be diligent in the delivery of reserved judgements, with reasonable promptness. Failure to uphold these obligations can have a detrimental effect on public confidence in the judiciary.”
Key to his decision to close the matter was the fact that Justice Goodman experienced a medical condition, now resolved, which was at the root of her difficulties. Justice Goodman and her Chief Justice have set out a number of specific and comprehensive measures to ensure that she discharges all aspects of her judicial responsibilities in a timely manner.
Justice Goodman expressed deep regret about the impact of her actions on litigants who appeared before her and to public confidence generally. She has undertaken to ensure that the situation never repeats itself.
Chief Justice MacDonald notes that the judge now discharges all her judicial duties in an effective and timely manner.
Given the remedial nature of the judicial conduct process, and taking into account all the circumstances, Chief Justice MacDonald has decided that no further measures need be taken in this matter.
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