'Knees-together' judge applies to practise law again
Federal Court Justice Robin Camp arrives at a Canadian Judical Council inquiry in Calgary, on Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. (Larry MacDougal / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press
Published Friday, November 3, 2017 4:50PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, November 3, 2017 5:17PM EDT
CALGARY -- A former judge who asked why a rape complainant didn't keep her knees together has applied to practise law again.
A notice on the Law Society of Alberta's website says there is to be a day-long reinstatement hearing for Robin Camp on Nov. 14 in Calgary.
Camp resigned from the Federal Court in March following a Canadian Judicial Council recommendation that he be removed from the bench because his conduct was "manifestly and profoundly destructive" to the impartiality and integrity of the judiciary.
Court transcripts from the 2014 sexual assault trial show that Camp, who was a provincial court judge in Calgary at the time, called the complainant "the accused" numerous times and told her "pain and sex sometimes go together."
He questioned the complainant's morals and suggested her attempts to fight off the man were feeble.
Camp found the accused, Alexander Wagar, not guilty, but the Appeal Court ordered a new trial that resulted in him being acquitted for a second time.
Camp apologized for his remarks and has undergone training and counselling.
When law society members become judges, they are automatically no longer part of the organization.
The law society said that when a former judge applies to be reinstated, the steps taken depend on whether he or she retired in good standing or was otherwise removed from the bench.
The application may be approved quickly if the person satisfies competency and conduct requirements, but in other cases it's more complicated.
"If there are concerns around credentials and education or competency to practise law, the individual may be referred to various committees comprised of benchers (law society board members) and volunteers for further review," the society said in an emailed statement Friday.
"The law society may investigate to see if the individual has previous disciplinary proceedings or criminal convictions and may refer the application to the conduct committee if such concerns are identified."
Camp, who was born in South Africa, originally had a legal-aid practice which included some criminal law. As he became more senior, he took on mostly litigation cases. An agreed statement of facts said he was involved in the anti-apartheid movement and represented members of the African National Congress.
After moving to Calgary in 1998, his practice focused mainly on contractual, bankruptcy and trust law, as well as on oil and gas litigation.
He was named an Alberta provincial court judge in 2012, but did not receive training or judicial education on sexual assault law or how to conduct sex assault trials.