Ottawa, October 3 2018

Canadian Judicial Council review of a matter involving the Honourable Patrick Smith

*Note: A Federal Court decision in this matter was rendered on May 21, 2020. The Court declared that Justice Patrick Smith in accepting the appointment of Interim Dean (Academic) at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University did not breach section 55 of the Judges Act, nor did he breach his judicial ethics.

Ottawa, 3 October 2018 –The Canadian Judicial Council has referred a question relating to the conduct of the Honourable Patrick Smith to a Judicial Conduct Review Panel. Specifically, the decision of the Honourable Patrick Smith to become the Interim Dean of the Bora Laskin Law School at Lakehead University raises some questions about whether such duties are compatible with judicial office.

The Reasons for referring this matter to a Review Panel, prepared by the Honourable Robert Pidgeon, are available on Council’s website. 

The members of the Review Panel will consider the referral, as well as the written representations of the judge, to determine whether, in their view, the judge engaged in misconduct. Pending the outcome of this review, it would not be appropriate to comment further about the merits of the matter.

The Review Panel is composed of three Council members, one other judge and one layperson. Once the Panel completes its review, its decision will be made public. 

Council believes that all judges, and the public alike, will benefit from greater clarity regarding the permissible scope of activities for judges outside their normal judicial duties.

Norman Sabourin
Executive Director and Senior General Counsel
(613) 288-1566 ext 313

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