Canadian Judicial Council launches inquiry in conduct of Quebec Superior Court justice

MONTREAL — The Canadian Judicial Council says it will launch a public inquiry into the alleged conduct of a Quebec Superior Court judge.

A five-member judicial conduct review panel looked at two separate allegations against Justice Gerard Dugre and decided they warranted an inquiry.

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In both instances, the allegations are not proven.

One allegation involves a lengthy delay in rendering a decision in a divorce and family-related matter, rendered in late November 2018, more than nine months after the judge took the case under deliberation.

The council says this was not the first allegation of a tardy decision, and it could demonstrate a pattern.

The other allegation involves intemperate and inappropriate language stemming during a family law hearing in September 2018.

"The allegations were that the judge was discourteous and the review panel found indeed the judge was intimidating, he was sometimes threatening and he did not let the parties provide their views, he did not let them make their arguments appropriately," the council's executive director, Norman Sabourin, said.

The panel reviewed the matter and spoke with the judge and the chief justice of the Quebec Superior Court before concluding it might be serious enough to warrant the removal of the judge if found to be valid.

The next step will involve creating an inquiry committee and the federal justice minister can appoint members of the bar to sit on the committee, Sabourin said.

The council is responsible for investigating allegations against federally appointed judges.

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