OTTAWA, June 12 /CNW Telbec/ - In line with the Canadian Judicial
Council's Inquiries and Investigations By-laws, the Council has been informed
that the Honourable Theodore Matlow, of the Superior Court of Ontario, intends
to submit a written response and appear before Council to make a brief oral
statement about the Inquiry Committee's report made public on 29 May 2008. The
Council plans to hold a public meeting on 21 July 2008, beginning at
10:00 a.m., at the Alpine Room, Conference Level, Sheraton Gateway Hotel,
Terminal 3, Lester B. Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Ontario.
The Inquiry Committee created to review the conduct of Justice Matlow
submitted its report detailing its findings and conclusions to the Canadian
Judicial Council at the end of May 2008. The Inquiry Committee's report,
available on the Council's website
<a href="http://www.cjc-ccm.gc.ca/english/conduct_en.asp?selMenu=conduct_inq_matlow_en.asp">n.asp</a>), concludes that there are grounds to justify making a recommendation
for the removal of Mr Justice Matlow from judicial office.
Under the Council's By-laws, Justice Matlow has until 30 June 2008 to
submit a written response to the Council regarding the report. The By-laws
also provide that he can appear in person before Council, with or without his
lawyer, for the purpose of making a brief oral statement regarding the report.
The Independent Counsel in this matter, Mr Douglas Hunt, may also present a
reply to any written response, or to an oral statement made by Justice Matlow.
Written submissions will be made public.
After hearing all submissions, the Council will prepare a recommendation
to the Minister of Justice, indicating whether Justice Matlow should be
removed from office for any of the reasons set out in section 65(2) of the
Judges Act. In accordance with Canada's Constitution, a judge may only be
removed from office through a joint resolution of Parliament.
The Canadian Judicial Council is composed of the chief justices and
associate chief justices of Canada's superior courts. Information about the
Council, including documents related to the Inquiry Committee in this matter,
can be found on the Council's website: www.cjc.gc.ca
Complaints and Inquiries process:
When someone believes that a judge's personal conduct (on or off the
bench) is in question, a complaint may be made to the Canadian Judicial
Council. The Council examines only issues of conduct and does not review a
judge's decision in law.
The complaints process is simple: the complaint must be in writing, and
it must concern the conduct of a federally appointed judge. No special forms
are necessary. No legal counsel is required. No fees are charged. To the
extent possible, the Council reviews anonymous complaints in the same way as
complaints that are signed.
When a complaint is made, the question before the Council is ultimately
whether or not a judge's conduct prevents that judge from discharging his
duties as a judge. In such a case, the Council must decide whether or not to
recommend that a judge be removed from office.
A complaint is first reviewed by a member of the Judicial Conduct
Committee. A complaint can be dismissed when it is clearly frivolous or does
not fall within the mandate of the Council. In roughly half of cases, the
complaint is studied in more detail and the judge in question, as well as
judge's chief justice, are sent a copy of the complaint and asked for their
comments. The complaint is often resolved at this stage, with an appropriate
letter of explanation to the complainant.
If the complaint cannot be resolved at that stage, the file can be
referred to a Panel of up to five judges for further review. When a Panel
concludes that the complaint has merit but is not serious enough to move to
the next stage (a formal hearing by an Inquiry Committee) then the Panel may
close the file with an expression of concern, or may recommend counselling or
other remedial measures.
When the complaint may be serious enough to warrant the judge's removal,
the Panel can recommend that the Council establish an Inquiry Committee. After
completing its investigation, an Inquiry Committee reports its findings to the
Canadian Judicial Council. The Council then decides whether or not to
recommend to the Minister of Justice of Canada that the judge be removed from
office. In accordance with the provision of Canada's Constitution, a judge may
be removed from office only after a joint resolution by Parliament.
The Inquiry Committee that reviewed the conduct of Justice Matlow is
composed of three judicial members, appointed by the Council, and two senior
lawyers, appointed by the Minister of Justice. The members of the Committee
- The Honourable Clyde K. Wells, Chief Justice of Newfoundland and
- The Honourable François Rolland, Chief Justice, Superior Court of
- The Honourable Ronald Veale, Senior Judge, Supreme Court of the Yukon
- Maria Lynn Freeland, Senior Crown Prosecutor, of Meadow Lake,
- Douglas M. Hummell, Barrister and Solicitor, of St. Catharines,
Mr Douglas Hunt, of the law firm Hunt Partners LLP, is the Independent
Counsel regarding this matter. The mandate of Independent Counsel is to act in
the public interest and to bring all relevant facts and points of law before
the Committee for its consideration, and to respond to any further
representations made to Council by the judge. Justice Matlow is represented by
Paul Cavalluzzo of the firm Cavalluzzo, Hayes, Shilton, McIntyre & Cornish
For further information:
For further information: Norman Sabourin, Executive Director and Senior
General Counsel, (613) 288-1566 ext. 301