American Judges Association


Date of this Version



Court Review, Volume 54, Issue 1 (2018)


Copyright American Judges Association. Used by permission.


T here has been a great deal of controversy lately in Canada over trial judges purportedly resorting to stereotypical reasoning in assessing the credibility of witnesses, particularly complainants in sexual assault trials.1

This issue came to a head with a recommendation by the Canadian Judicial Council to the Minister of Justice that a trial judge be removed from office based upon his conduct (i.e., comments during a sexual assault trial).2 The recommendation arose out of a complaint had been made to the Canadian Judicial Council concerning former Justice Robin Camp.3 The Council’s inquiry committee concluded that Justice Camp “relied on discredited myths and stereotypes about women and victim-blaming during the Trial and in his Reasons for Judgment” (at paragraph 6).4

In this column, I intend to review the decision of the Judicial Council in relation to former Justice Camp. I then intend to review how allegations of improper stereotypical thinking have been dealt with by various Canadian appeal courts and, in one case, the Supreme Court of Canada.