Canadian Judicial Council Inquiry Committee has concluded its work and recommends that Justice Gérard Dugré be removed from office
The Inquiry Committee constituted to review the conduct of the Honourable Gérard Dugré has concluded its work and has submitted its report to the Canadian Judicial Council. The Inquiry Committee found that Justice Dugré’s conduct undermines public confidence to the point where he has become unable to continue to perform his duties, and therefore recommends that he be removed from office.
The Committee, chaired by the Honourable Marc Richard and comprised as well of the Honourable Louise Charbonneau and Ms Audrey Boctor, a lawyer with IMK LLP, carefully reviewed a number of complaints and allegations regarding the judge’s conduct and comments at hearings, and allegations related to delays in rendering judgment.
In arriving at its conclusions, the Inquiry Committee heard testimony from multiple witnesses, reviewed transcripts and documentary evidence, and listened to full recordings of cases relating to several of the allegations. The Inquiry Committee also dealt with a number of preliminary motions in a report available on the Council website.
The Inquiry Committee found that the judge’s chronic failure to render judgment in a reasonable time threatens the integrity of the office of judge and demonstrates his failure to fulfil his obligation to those who appeared before him.
Moreover, the Committee found that, in certain occasions, the judge displayed an aggressive and disagreeable attitude towards counsel, made condescending, contemptuous and inappropriate remarks, and was impolite. When viewed and considered as a whole, the Committee found that Justice Dugré’s conduct in the courtroom undermines public confidence about his ability to ensure a respectful climate, and therefore renders him unable to continue to carry out the office of judge.
A quorum of 17 Council members will now consider the Inquiry Committee’s report and, following deliberations, will decide on the recommendation that will be made to the Minister of Justice.
Information about the Council and the process by which complaints about the conduct of judges are reviewed can be found on the website at https://cjc-ccm.ca/en/what-we-do/review-procedures.
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