Comparing two Canadian Judges: ‘Knees Together Robin Camp’ vs ‘Backroom Bryan Shaughnessy’

Justices ‘Knees Together’ Robin Camp (left) and ‘Backroom Bryan’ Shaughnessy

Which judge committed the most egregious offense?

Former Canadian Federal Court judge Robin ‘Knees Together’ Camp has applied to be reinstated as a lawyer in Alberta. The hearing will be held next week on Tuesday, November 14, 2017.

Mr. Camp resigned from the Federal Court in March 2017 after the Canadian Judicial Council found that his conduct was ‘manifestly and profoundly destructive of the concept of impartiality’. This was the end result of a 2014 trial where Camp asked a rape complainant why she didn’t keep her knees together and lower her bottom into a sink to avoid being penetrated.

Camp also lectured the ‘accused’ (oops… he was referring to the victim!) that “sex and pain sometimes go together, that — that’s not necessarily a bad thing” and that her attempts to fight off the rapist were feeble.

Such attitudes might be common in places like Saudi Arabia, but are unforgiveable here in Canada. The minute he uttered the words, Judge Camp’s future on the bench was sealed although it took a few years for events to play out.

During that trial Judge Camp acquitted the accused Alexandar Wagar – who now faces seven new criminal charges including assaulting and choking in entirely unrelated events.

To no avail Camp attempted to avoid being fired by taking courses in how not to blame women for being raped – but in the end his record undermined any possible confidence in his ability to be a judge.

Fair enough.

Should Robin Camp be allowed to practice as a lawyer?

It is interesting to note that many news articles about Camp mention that he is originally from South Africa. This mention of someone’s origin is unusual for the Canadian news media that normally goes to great lengths to discount an accused’s national origin and culture as irrelevant to acts committed in Canada – except that in this case Justice Camp himself blamed his South African background and 20 years practicing law there for his ‘deeply-rooted’ bias and outrageous conduct.

Whatever the origin of Mr. Camp’s attitudes and beliefs, no doubt he has by this time received the message that such standards don’t wash here. Humbled and humiliated, he has now applied to resume his law practice in Alberta.

Should he be reinstated as a lawyer? Sure. Mr. Camp is probably a capable enough lawyer and is no longer in a position of authority over victims who happen to be women. It is also reasonable to assume that he will be exceedingly cautious about his words and actions in the future.

In a time that embraces (sometimes overly so) the concepts of redemption and forgiveness, what reasonable person could oppose reinstating Robin Camp as a lawyer? Certainly Ontario’s law society that openly licenses convicted child molesters can hardly complain about Mr. Camp resuming his law practice.

At least Justice Camp’s outrageous statements were done in public on the court record – and were therefore open to discovery, scrutiny and censure. 

Backroom Bryan Shaughnessy

Contrast Robin Camp’s actions with the misconduct of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy of the Ontario Superior Court.

Former OPP boss Julian Fantino

Here is a sample from the September 28, 2017 sworn affidavit of Julian Fantino, former Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, concerning Justice Shaughnessy’s conduct during the Donald Best civil contempt case:

  • “Court ended and the Judge (Shaughnessy) left the courtroom. The courtroom staff ended their duties and Mr. Best was taken away to prison. Then, in Mr. Best’s absence, in a backroom and off the court record with no transcript and no endorsement on the record, the Judge secretly created a new Warrant of Committal and increased Best’s time to be served in prison by 50%… this new secret Warrant of Committal was given only to the prison authorities and was not placed into the court records.”
  • “There is no justification for this which appears to be a vindictive and punitive act and it needs to be closely scrutinized.”

In other words, Bryan Shaughnessy, a Federally appointed Justice of the Ontario Superior Court, corruptly wielded his authority and power in secret, in a backroom, off the court record and with zero regard for the rule of law, transparency or accountability… just as one commonly sees in third-world backwaters where local despots misuse their authority for private purposes.

Further, Justice Shaughnessy was dealing with an unrepresented person who had already been taken away to prison. The judge knew that he could get away with this abuse because the prisoner didn’t have a lawyer and was incapable of appealing an increased sentence from prison. Further Best might not even be told by prison authorities about his increased sentence for weeks or months.

Several senior lawyers and a retired Crown Attorney call Justice Shaughnessy’s behaviour “despotic”, “disgusting”, “reprehensible”, “malicious” and “worthy of his removal from the bench.” Lawyers especially are concerned with Shaughnessy’s misconduct as his actions strike right to the foundations of our justice system and society.

Outrage vs. Cover-up

Why did Robin Camp’s misconduct receive so much condemnation and public attention from government and the news media, while Bryan Shaughnessy’s more sinister and unlawful misconduct is ignored by the press and (at least initially) was defended by both Federal and Ontario Attorneys General?

In the case of Justice Robin ‘knees together’ Camp, Alberta Attorney General Kathleen Ganley ordered the Canadian Judicial Council to hold an inquiry – which was only the eleventh inquiry in the 45 year history of the CJC.

In the case of ‘Backroom Bryan’ Shaughnessy, however, the Attorney General of Ontario initially acted as defense lawyer for the judge in a judicial review application brought by Donald Best.

So too the Attorney General of Canada initially sided with Justice Shaughnessy in the motions leading up to the Judicial Review. Ontario’s Law Society made no public comment on the case or about Justice Shaughnessy’s misconduct, but senior bencher of the Law Society Peter Wardle eventually took over as the judge’s defense lawyer when Ontario’s Attorney General withdrew from the role.

“It is not the rogue acts of a handful of judges that undermine our justice system, it is the cover-ups that do the most damage to the public’s trust and confidence in our courts.”

The news media is the same story: reporters swarmed the ‘Knees together’ inquiry which drew international attention. Camp is still in the news with his application to return to practicing law in Alberta.

With Shaughnessy’s misconduct, however, several journalists inform me that the news media issued an ‘editor’s kill’ on the story – perhaps because of libel chill or due to the powerful influence of the Ontario legal profession’s ‘Bay Street Club’.

Even a recent sworn affidavit by Julian Fantino, former federal cabinet minister and former Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, is being suppressed in the mainstream news media – despite the fact that Fantino names names and presents credible, professional evidence of disturbing misconduct by police, lawyers and Justice Shaughnessy.

Perhaps it boils down to this…

Judges who take drugs, pat their secretary’s bottom, get caught shoplifting or drunk driving are easy to deal with. Camp falls into this category with his outrageous ‘knees together’ comments.

More difficult for society and those who administer our justice system is when judges go rogue and totally misuse their power and authority. This is when the Canadian Judicial Council and the entire legal profession back away – because to deal openly with culprits like Bryan Shaughnessy is to admit that such abuses happen. Exposure and discussion of this, the profession believes, undermines public confidence in the entire justice system.

And so they cover-up – but they are wrong to do so.

It is not the rogue acts of a handful of judges that undermine our justice system, it is the cover-ups that do the most damage to the public’s trust and confidence in our courts.

Everyone understands human weaknesses for sex, drugs, booze – but when judges conspire to obstruct justice and commit criminal offenses in some backroom… well, that’s a tougher nut to acknowledge.

Notice to readers, including Persons and Entities mentoned in this article

As always, if anyone disagrees with anything published at DonaldBest.CA or wishes to provide a public response or comment, please contact me at info@donaldbest.ca and I will publish your writing with equal prominence. Comments left on articles are moderated at least once a day. Or, of course, you can sue me and serve my lawyer Paul Slansky. You can find Mr. Slansky’s information here.

Photos have been included to put context to the article. Their use is the same as with other Canadian news outlets.

Donald Best
Barrie, Ontario, Canada

 

6 comments

  • Prediction: you and slansky will lose and lose badly on Monday. You should really be ashamed. How pathetic that wild bill is now sticking his nose back into this mess he created for you. Both of you deserve to be in prison for far longer than you got.

    • Thanks for the encouragement, because website visits from various law firms, government agencies and people like you who are upset about my telling the truth on the internet are highly motivating.

      And as I’ve said in the FAQ section, ordinary people understand exactly what it means when I publicly name lawyers as “corrupt” and “liars” and the lawyers do not sue me.

      You and your corrupt colleagues lost the moment you jailed me on provably false evidence.

  • I could write a book of horrors on a divorce case in Alberta- involving a Master in Chambers, a totally biased misogynist female judge, a lawyer committing a huge fraud using a double accounting system, a lawyer using terrorist tactics and outright lies to benefit her client – she also convinced the court to give me a contempt order threatening to imprison me when there was no such order and although I tried to defend myself the judge would not accept any reason. The judge wouldn’t even listen to me as I was self represented. This lawyer also instructed her client not to follow one single court order and she wrote one order that was totally incorrect but benefitted her client immensely and when i objected to the judge – in writing- within three days – I was ignored and the judge signed off on it anyway.

    I am still in shock at the complete disregard for another human being – I was treated as a criminal with no rights. All complaints made to the LSA (were turned back on me), Mr Rooke ( threatened me with being charged with criminal harassment and imprisoned) – the CJC was useless and turned complaints back on me – in one complaint the CJC had the facts wrong and I asked they review the complaint based on the facts – I was told the case is closed – I asked for a copy of the file and I was told it’s confidential!

  • Another ashamed Canadian

    I believe the date of the trial Allen is Nov. 20 and 21st in Toronto on Queen Street. I think alot of people would love to meet you as your posts are very thorough and to the point and you seem like an individual that is courageous like Mr. Best. I would find it an honor to meet you. I can feel it in my bones a round up of crooked lawyers with crooked links is on the horizon.

  • “Why did Robin Camp’s misconduct receive so much condemnation and public attention from government and the news media, while Bryan Shaughnessy’s more sinister and unlawful misconduct is ignored by the press and (at least initially) was defended by both Federal and Ontario Attorneys General?”

    Let me try to give one of the reasons and I have always said this. Judge Camp was abandoned by his “brethren” because he was not as connected as the others. Had he been a grad of a Canadian Law School the whole outcome would be different. He would have had the same protection as the others regardless of what he did.

    Poor soul he was just doing what he saw the others doing. Like other immigrants who make the grave mistake of thinking they have arrived and are part of the boys and can do like the others do and get away only he is learning the hard way. Based on personal experience, I have encountered worse judges not to mention Masters in Alberta’s Courts yet their deeds are covered up by mighty forces. Did I mention those in Alberta Attorney General’s Office?

    My take is everybody deserves to earn a living and Judge Camp has already been punished. What is more the Alberta Law Society has more and worse crooks than judge Camp and they defend and protect them. I can even name a whole firm of Boko Haram in Calgary and I have brought their behaviour to the legislator and every where else and not a soul has done anything about them but they have dome everything about me to keep me quiet including declaring me a vexatious litigant. In case you do not know that Vexatious Proceedings Act (yes proceedings not people) is a tool made available by the Alberta government to give judged power to keep those who speak out against them quiet.

    Now I ma dealing with the same criminal behaviour of certain tribunal(s) in Ontario. Just imagine that. In this day and age they boldly behave like Harvey Weistein enablers and facilitators and are assured no one will touch them

    Now Judge Shaugnessy is another matter for what he did was outright criminal. He should be thrown in jail and the keys thrown away.

    MR Best please publish the date and location fo your hearing this month so I (and others) can attend

    • Love your post Allen. Especially the paragraph “they boldly behave like Harvey Weinstein enablers and facilitators and are assured no one will touch them”.

      Remember Harvey Weinstein is now being exposed and those enablers and facilitators are being exposed with him. They are being touched so to speak now. They are getting public condemnation to the highest degree.

      Sadly the many common woman and men not movie stars who have endured the same treatment worldwide are not seeing their enablers and facilitators receiving public outcry. But that can change.

      Mr. Donald Best because of his courage is creating international attention like he has shown on posts on his website. Keep pushing. To all men and woman out there who have suffered sexual harassment, sexual assault do not be afraid to air their names on the net. Remember one brave soul brings forth many brave souls. The streisand effect.

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