There will be a public hearing into the conduct of a Federal Court Judge who asked a sexual assault complainant why she couldn’t keep her legs together.
Justice Robin Camp acquitted Scott Wagar, who was accused of raping a 19-year-old girl over a sink at a party in Alberta, Canada, during a trial in 2014.
During the trial Judge Camp, who was then a provincial court judge in Calgary, asked the alleged victim: “Why couldn’t you just keep your knees together?”
Referring to her several times as “the accused”, he also asked: “Why didn’t you just sink your bottom down into the basin so he couldn’t penetrate you?”
Local news sources report Camp also questioned the woman's morals, called her "unsavoury" and suggested "sex and pain sometimes go together, that's not necessarily a bad thing."
Camp’s verdict was overturned on appeal last year and a new trial has been ordered.
Now a Canadian Judicial Council inquiry has been scheduled for September to determine whether Camp should be removed from his job.
Several legal experts at the University of Calgary filed complaints against Camp’s conduct, including law professor Alice Woolley, who told the Canadian Press: “I’m very pleased that the judicial council is looking at it.
“I hope they will look at all of the issues raised by his decision – not only his treatment of the complainant, which was truly appalling, but also his disregard for the law.”
In a statement published on the website on Monday, it announced the details of the week-long trial and issued Camp’s response.
It said: “Judge Camp’s position is that he has not rendered himself incapacitated or disabled from the due execution of the office of judge.
“Justice Camp agrees that he made insensitive and inappropriate comments during the Wagar trial.
“He has apologised generally and specifically. He intends to apologise at the Inquiry Committee hearing.”
The hearing panel will decide if Camp is allowed to remain on the bench of Federal Court judges.
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