Foray into the heart of the judiciary

News 12 February, 2018
  • Photo courtesy
    The retired justice Nicole Gibeault has served 23 years in the Court of Québec.

    Michael Nguyen

    Monday, 12 February, 2018 01:00

    Monday, 12 February, 2018 01:00

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    Well known by the public for his comments on the judicial news, the retired justice Nicole Gibeault offers a rare glimpse into the behind the scenes of the judiciary with his book, It still calls me ” Madam justice “.

    During 23 years as a judge of the Court of Québec, Ms. Gibeault did not have the right to make public statements other than on the bench.

    Now that this chapter of his life is gone, she is regularly invited in the media to analyze and trial judgments.

    But because of its former function, the questions on his life as a judge again often surface, ” she explains in an interview with the Newspaper. And it is from there that she had the idea to write a book about his career.

    “In 37 years [when she was appointed as a judge], I no longer had the right to do interviews or speak in public,” said Ms. Gibeault. I had to learn to restrain myself, because I talk a lot ! But I have lived experiences that I wanted to convey by writing this book, with authenticity because I am unable to be otherwise. “

    Photo courtesy


    It is that the retired justice has had a busy career. After having begun his career before the canadian Charter of rights and freedoms, it has established itself as a young lawyer in a medium mainly male.

    This was the period where the comments of mononcles were frequent, especially when she was going to meet with inmates, one can read in his book.

    And then she became the first woman judge in the district of Hull.

    “It is sure that I got a little thrill, I wondered how I would be accepted,” she said in telling the story of the crazy media coverage was followed.

    The thread of his narrative of 150 pages, she explains how she has gained access to the judiciary, but also how she lived it from the inside.

    “We are human, passionate, you can’t miss it,” she says.

    Baggage of judge

    To illustrate the years she has spent at the bench, Ms. Gibeault explained that the only two gowns that she has worn are ” worn rope “.

    She tells the first sentence she spoke, the tragedies, but also joys when the accused are handed over.

    “We represent an institution, but it also has a heart, his baggage of life,” she says. And why, do we never talk about. “

    At her retirement, Ms. Gibeault is now ” on the other side of the fence “.

    She was very present during the great trials, such as those of the ex-cardiologist Guy Turcotte or of the murderer Luka Rocco Magnotta. And it explains to the public the judicial system.

    Because in spite of the criticisms – she cites in particular the judgment in Jordan on the unreasonable delay – it devotes a deep love for the judicial system, in which she was immersed almost his whole life.

    “I still love her and I will continue to defend it,” she said at the end of the wire.

    His book, éditions Stanké, will be available from 14 February.

    Excerpts from the book

    “I am thirty-seven years, and I become the first woman judge in our district. I haven’t even assimilated all the responsibilities that come to drop me on the head. “

    “My first assignment at the criminal mark me and scares me a little. During this hearing, a defendant pleads guilty to a charge very serious, I can’t remember most of the details, because all that I remember of the first time is that I am asked to sentence him to a sentence of 10 years in prison ! “

    “It was common to see a colleague, afflicted by the disease, or of a deep malaise in her private life, sit with difficulty. The function does not curb in any way the suffering, even if we must make superhuman efforts to the occasion. “