This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Just Lie Back and Enjoy It?

"Why didn’t you just keep your knees together?"
"Why didn’t you just sink your bottom down into the basin so he couldn’t penetrate you?"
 "Sex and pain sometimes go together… not necessarily a bad thing."
Justice Robin Camp, 64, 2014 sexual assault trial, Alberta Provincial Court
Federal Court Justice Robin Camp arrives with his wife Mariaan, right, and daughter Lauren at a Canadian Judicial Council inquiry in Calgary.
Federal Court Justice Robin Camp arrives with his wife Mariaan, right, and daughter Lauren at a Canadian Judicial Council inquiry in Calgary. (Canadian Press) 
He is (presumably) contentedly married, and he and his wife have a daughter together, possibly just a few years older than the complainant he was interrogating during the trial when he emitted those lines, among others toward the 19-year-old Cree woman who charged she had been raped at the venue of a party. That the man she accused of rape had done so over a sink in the apartment washroom, despite her pleas that he stop and the pain he was inflicting on her.

He was also recorded as having stated his distaste for updated rape laws that were meant to protect women from the kind of institutionalized bigotry that penalized them through penetrating questioning meant to demonstrate that their lifestyle, their habits, their relationships and above all their mode of dress predicted the outcome of such violence perpetrated against them. According to the judge, rape shield laws "hamstring" the defence and were unnecessary.

"It clearly is part and parcel of his resistance to changes in the law meant to protect vulnerable witnesses, to promote women's equality and to bring integrity to the way in which sexual assault cases are dealt with by the justice system", stated a five-member enquiry committee of the Canadian Judicial Council in the wake of hearings taking place in Calgary.

After complaints were lodged against this man's bearing and comments to the injured party who must have been utterly demoralized, but carried on irrespective of the personal responsibility placed on her for her miserable predicament, the justice was nonetheless elevated to the Federal Court of Canada. His past has caught up with him, however, and the enquiry launched, which has now concluded that he should be removed from that federal post.

His acquittal of the accused whom the judge advised that he and his friends in future become "far more careful" as well as "far more gentle" with women in order to "protect" themselves, did no credit to justice in Canada. But it was in particular the judge's comments on the amendments, now many decades old, recognizing the unequal status of women in the law that they found incredibly offensive.

Leading them to the observation that "His comments showed disdain for the law", an obvious "antipathy" to the law, with more than a whiff of nostalgia and the hope that the pendulum in law might "swing away from the reforms back to the former ways", among them the demand that women rigorously physically resist attack. 

His "harshness" toward the complainant, the remarks made that "belittle and trivialize" her allegations led also to the unanimous agreement that he should no longer sit on the Federal Court bench. His chagrin at losing that $314,000 annual salary will no doubt sting, but he has the option of either resigning or submitting an argument to convince authorities that he continues to merit his judgeship.

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