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And now, to antagonize any readers still speaking to me after this week’s Blackberry Roundtable . . .


 

I actually agree with the government’s decision to appeal the Teitelbaum ruling, which found “a reasonable apprehension of bias” on the part of Justice John Gomery — although it really should have happened immediately following the ruling, not three months later  — and definitely not in the middle of an election campaign. I said so at the time — to a card-carrying Conservative, no less — the very day the ruling came out. “You have to appeal this thing” were my exact words, I believe. There may even have been a thumping of the table for emphasis.

Not, I should note, because I am convinced that Gomery hadn’t – or, for that matter had – demonstrated “a reasonable apprehension of bias” — honestly, I’m still not convinced that he did, although he certainly did himself no favours with his now infamous Christmas eve chat with Don Martin — but because a finding of bias against a judge in any case — let alone something as politically charged as the Gomery inquiry — is, happily, a rare occurence, but one that is incredibly serious, and should go to the highest court in the land as a matter of course.

Of course, it goes without saying that the decision to appeal should have been – and, as far as I know, was – made not for political reasons, but this isn’t really about Justice Gomery, or Jean Chretien, or Jean Pelletier, or even the ghost that haunts us still that is the sponsorship scandal. It goes deeper than that.

Canadians have a fundamental right to believe in the integrity, independence and impartiality of our judges, our courts and our legal system — and I’m sure that, once the Supreme Court has weighed in, they will continue to do so — because regardless of its ultimate conclusion, the system will have worked, and – just as importantly – will have been shown to work.


 

And now, to antagonize any readers still speaking to me after this week’s Blackberry Roundtable . . .

  1. “You have to appeal this thing” were my exact words, I believe. There may even have been a thumping of the table for emphasis”

    Afraid of some real Judicial talent being installed as demonstrated by Mr. Mulroney’s Rob. Nicholson PC, QC, MP ?

  2. Anything that can help prevent a move toward a more politicized judiciary is a good thing. I really don’t want to live in a country where the law is turned into yet another ideological battleground. (I’m thinking of our neighbours to the south, and Mr. Harper’s penchant for making political hay out of the “liberal courts” straw man.)
    A transparent process that fully examines the charges aganist Gomery is absolutely necessary. We need to know the watchmen are being watched.

  3. I’m still not convinced that he did, although he certainly did himself no favours with his now infamous Christmas eve chat with Don Martin…</i.

    …this among all the other things Gomery did at the time. I was never much interested in the process, but it seems someone was just a little too taken by the celebrity of the whole spectacle.

    And of course, this coming in the middle of an election campaign is ridiculous and should be denounced. DENOUNCED, I say.

  4. The only thing wrong that Gomery did was talk out loud to a reporter. If he would have kept his thoughts to himself there wouldn’t be a problem. It just goes to show that our judges do indeed pre-judge cases before them, they just have the good sense to not tell journos about it.

    “Anything that can help prevent a move toward a more politicized judiciary is a good thing. I really don’t want to live in a country where the law is turned into yet another ideological battleground.”

    Sean S

    You only think our judges aren’t politicized because you probably agree with the decisions they reach. People who don’t wear the same blinders as you, Kady and other Lib partisans know very well our legal system is entirely politicized. You don’t find it odd how secretive, and star-chamber like, our supreme court is?

    From A Coyne’s previous blog:

    “Let’s just review, shall we? 89% of all political donations made by federal judicial appointees in Ontario since 1993 went to the Liberal Party of Canada. 92% of all political donations by federal judicial appointees in Quebec went to the Liberal Party of Canada.

    More than 60% of all federal judicial appointees in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba since 2000 donated exclusively to the Liberal Party of Canada in the three to five years before their appointment. Notice a pattern?”

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