- Another Ontario Judge goes rogue, ignores law, imprisons innocent man.
- Suggested disipline includes “Training on Integrity”
- Was previously convicted of Criminal Charge of Obstruct Justice in 2009
On December 5, 2017, the Ontario Justices of the Peace Review Council found that Justice of the Peace Paul Welsh committed judicial misconduct.
His Worship Justice of the Peace Welsh put an innocent man into prison:
On October 16, 2013, while presiding in criminal court, His Worship showed a wilful disregard for the law and for the rights of the accused by unilaterally changing the return date on a court matter without taking steps to notify the accused, counsel of record, or the Crown of the new return date. His Worship’s actions resulted in the issuance and execution of a bench warrant and deprived the accused of his liberty. (Ontario Judicial Council website)
His Worship’s lawyer, Mr. Eugene Bhattacharya, presented “31 letters from lawyers, two judges and a justice of the peace attesting to his (Welsh’s) character and contribution to the justice system” and suggested a “combination of dispositions would be appropriate including an apology, training on independence and integrity and a suspension with pay for a period between 14 and 30 days.”
The prosecution asked for little more than the defence: an apology to the wrongly imprisoned man, education on how to manage a busy courtroom and suspension for a few weeks without pay.
The proposed ‘dispositions’ are so far divorced from the expectations of ordinary Canadians that once again we are shown that the elites running our justice system either have zero realization about how lack of judicial accountability undermines public confidence in the courts – or they know and contemptuously don’t care.
Justice of the Peace Paul Welsh went rogue, willfully ignored the law and imprisoned an innocent man.
Previously in another case Welsh pleaded guilty to Criminal Obstruction of Justice, received an absolute discharge and was allowed to continue on the bench despite his corrupt actions.
To say that he should now have “training on integrity” is a sick joke. Welsh deserves to see the inside of a prison cell for putting an innocent man in jail.
What was his motivation for this latest misconduct? Was he angry at the litigant or his lawyer? Was he on drugs or drunk? Is he evil or powerdrunk? Did he do it for his own sick amusement?
What motivates a trained and experienced judge or justice of the peace to commit such egregious wrongdoing?
The exclusive club that is the self-regulating legal profession isn’t telling the Canadian public why Welsh did what he did – because the justice system exists for the benefit of the profession, not for ordinary Canadians. Judges at all levels are only accountable to fellow members of ‘the club’.
If this were an isolated incident by one judge, there might be an argument that simply firing Welsh would suffice. But talk to any lawyer or self-represented litigant and you’ll discover that all too often, and with increasing frequency, Ontario judges are ignoring the law and operating outside of the rules with impunity – because they can, and especially when it comes to self-represented persons.
Any disciplinary action against Welsh should take general deterence into consideration. The situation is that bad.
While the vast majority of rogue behaviour by judges involves lesser acts than imprisoning innocent people, a widespread court bias against unrepresented persons destroys lives, assets and families. Judges who ignore the rules and the rule of law should be held accountable.
Whatever Paul Welsh’s motivation for imprisoning an innocent man, there is no excuse for such a serious event. A precedent of requiring an apology and a short suspension does nothing more than licence this serious misconduct for the next rogue judge.
His Worship Paul Welsh should be fired, and should have to serve the same amount of time in prison as did the illegally jailed innocent man.
That goes for any judge who knowingly jails an innocent person. The fact that no imprisonment penalty for gross judicial misconduct exists in the disciplinary rules only underscores how the system is set up to prevent accountability of rogue judges.
As it is, the laughable penalty submissions of both Paul Welsh’s lawyer and the prosecution bring the administration of justice into disrepute and further undermine confidence in the Canadian justice system.