Ottawa, August 21 2007

Canadian Judicial Council completes its review of a complaint against Justice Yves Alain

Ottawa, 21 August 2007 - The Canadian Judicial Council announced today the results of its review of a complaint against the Honourable Yves Alain, a judge of the Quebec Superior Court. The complaint was made by the Chief Justice of Quebec, the Honourable Michel Robert.

In accordance with the Complaints Procedures of Council, the complaint was referred to the Honourable John D. Richard, Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Appeal and Vice-chairperson of the Council’s Conduct Committee. Chief Justice Richard reviewed the nature of the complaint pertaining to Justice Alain’s conduct on 7 December 2006 when he was arrested by the police for impaired driving, and later convicted of the offence.

Chief Justice Richard reviewed Justice Alain’s conduct and considered Justice Alain’s comments in response to the complaint. Chief Justice Richard noted that Justice Alain has expressed genuine regret and that he recognizes his conduct on that day was clearly inappropriate and may have tarnished the image of the judiciary. He also noted that Justice Alain took full responsibility for his conduct, pleaded guilty to the accusations against him and accepted, without question, the sentence proposed by the prosecution.

Chief Justice Richard made it very clear that impaired driving is a serious criminal offence which must be strongly denounced. Depending on the circumstances, a judge engaging in such conduct may no longer be in a position to carry out the duties of his office.

In this case, while the judge’s actions were clearly inappropriate, Chief Justice Richard noted that this was an isolated incident, that Justice Alain has acknowledged the seriousness of the matter and that he has undertaken to avoid any such conduct in future. In addition, Chief Justice Richard noted that Justice Alain has an excellent reputation as a jurist, who has the full confidence of his Chief Justice and of leading members of the legal profession. Accordingly, Chief Justice Richard came to the view that Justice Alain can continue to carry out his duties as a judge in a fair and objective manner.

Given the public interest in this matter, and the fact that the complaint itself was made public, the letter to the complainant, closing the file in this case, is made available on the Council’s website:


Norman Sabourin

Executive Director and General Counsel

613-288-1566, ext. 301