Federal Court Justice Robin Camp resigned Thursday, hours after the Canadian Judicial Council suggested he be removed from the bench. The council had just completed a 15-month review into Judge Camp’s conduct. The judge had asked an alleged rape victim in court why she couldn’t have just kept her knees together to prevent the sexual assault. Reportedly the incident happened in 2014 during a trial, where he also told the 19-year-old woman that sex and pain sometimes “go together,” among other comments.
Judge apologized for his remarks to the rape victim
According to the New York Daily News, after Camp submitted his resignation he made a brief statement to express his sincere apology to anyone who was hurt by his comments. The story made the headlines worldwide, after it was heard that the judge had repeatedly asked the woman, who was reportedly homeless at the time of the assault, why she hadn’t done more to prevent the rape.
Stereotypical thinking about women
According to the judicial council, Camp had been relying on stereotypes about women and victim-blaming during that trial and that he had treated the young woman in a condescending, disrespectful and humiliating manner. He reportedly referred to the woman on several occasions during the trial as the “accused,” rather than the complainant. When hearing from the woman that the assault had taken place in a bathroom, the judge even asked why she didn’t place her bottom in the sink so the attacker could not penetrate her. Reportedly, later, Camp found the accused not guilty. Later an appeals court ordered a new trial, where the accused was again acquitted.
Not the good judge he thought he was
Reportedly, Camp was born in South Africa and moved to Canada in 1998. In September last year, an inquiry was held to decide whether Camp should be removed from the bench. At the inquiry, Camp, 64, apologized for his comments, saying he was not the good judge he always thought he was. He went on to explain that he had not understood various changes made in Canadian law, which aimed to protect rape complainants from discriminatory attitudes.
Camp tried his best to persuade the panel that he should keep his job, speaking of various counseling and educational sessions he had attended with feminist scholars. However, the rape complainant herself spoke at the inquiry, saying the cutting remarks made to her in court had given her suicidal feelings. She said the judge made her hate herself and that she should have done something to stop the attack.
Calls for a Nova Scotia judge to also be removed
The Guardian reported that calls are mounting for another judge to be removed from the bench for similar reasons. Before acquitting a taxi driver of raping a female passenger, the Nova Scotia provincial court judge told the courtroom that of course a drunk can consent to the act of sex. Reportedly the woman was found drunk, half-naked, and unconscious in his cab, leading to her sexual assault. #Rape Victim #Canadian judge #Calgary