TORONTO – Conrad Black is not giving up his fight to make a personal pitch to keep his Order of Canada.
He is arguing that he should be allowed to make oral arguments in front of the Order of Canada advisory council, though the rules only allow for written arguments.
The Federal Court ruled against him on Oct. 25, and he has now filed a notice of appeal.
In it he argues the judge was wrong to find that written submissions will give Black a fair opportunity to make his “complex” case to the council.
The 11-member advisory council is currently deciding whether to recommend he be stripped of his appointment as an Officer in the Order of Canada.
The former media baron was convicted in the United States of fraud and obstruction of justice while he was head of media giant Hollinger International.
He contends he was unfairly maligned by the U.S. justice system.
Black maintains the case is too complicated to be dealt with solely in writing and a personal hearing would allow the council to decide on his credibility.
“(The judge) incorrectly relied on the proposition that complex issues are often better dealt with in writing than orally,” Black’s lawyer Peter Howard wrote in the notice of appeal.
“(He) failed to give legal effect to the fact that the appellant’s credibility is at the heart of the matter.”
If the council recommends Black lose the honour, Gov. Gen. David Johnston is obliged to act on the recommendation. Only four people have lost their Order of Canada honours.
Black served 37 months of a 42-month sentence in a Florida prison and returned to Canada in May under a special temporary permit given that he is no longer a citizen.
In a highly-publicized battle in 2001, he renounced his Canadian citizenship so he could accept a peerage in the British House of Lords.