Dismissal : a judge clings to his position by entering the court

News 27 March, 2018

    Michael Nguyen

    Tuesday, 27 march 2018 11:54

    Tuesday, 27 march 2018 11:54

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    A judge of the Quebec superior Court on suspicion of having bought cocaine prior to his appointment, in 2010, wants to cancel a report recommending its revocation.

    “The report by the canadian judicial Council […] shall be declared invalid,” says the blunt judge Michel Girouard, in his application filed at the courthouse of Montreal.

    The judge Girouard, who had acceded to the judiciary in 2010, had found himself in hot water a few years later following an extensive investigation of cocaine trafficking in the Abitibi region.

    In the investigation report of the Sûreté du Québec, it was stated that Mr. Girouard, then a lawyer, would have bought an “illicit substance” to the owner of a video club.

    Hearings were held before the canadian judicial Council, during which the judge had himself testified.

    In its most recent report, the Commission concluded that the judge had ” failed to honour and dignity “, that his “integrity had been irreparably compromised” and that the “public confidence in the judiciary had been shaken” to the point where the judge Girouard was rendered unfit to continue to serve.

    Visibly unsatisfied with these findings, Mr. Girouard has hired two major law firms –McCarthy Tétreault, as well as Joli-Coeur Lacasse– to cancel the report. The application was filed in the superior Court of Quebec, that is to say, the same court where the judge Girouard has been named.


    With the stroke of the legal arguments and citing the same examples dating back to the time of the colonies in 1787 –the same year when the British crown bought land from the Toronto region to the native americans–, the judge says that certain articles of the Law on judges are unconstitutional.

    In the court document, it gives examples of the time of the colonies on the suspension or dismissal of judges, to assert “that the provinces have historically exercised control over the conduct of the judges through their legislature,” and, even if they are appointed by the federal government.

    So, historically, he argues that only the provincial can recommend his impeachment, and not the federal government. However, the canadian judicial Council is a federal body, which would make unconstitutional the negative decision issued in its place.

    The request of the judge Girouard will be presented to the court in the coming weeks.