Canadian Judicial Council recommends that Justice Michel Girouard be removed from office

Ottawa, 20 February 2018–Following a public inquiry into the conduct of the Honourable Michel Girouard, convened at the request of the Attorneys General of Canada and Quebec, the Canadian Judicial Council has now concluded its review of the matter and recommends, in a Report to the Minister of Justice, that the judge be removed from office. The matter was carefully considered by 23 members of Council (the Chair did not vote). Three members expressed their dissent.

Council’s Inquiry Committee, in its November 2017 report, found that the judge attempted to mislead and conceal the truth during the process of review of allegations against him. Council agreed with those findings.

In its Report, Council concludes, in the majority, that the judge’s integrity has been fatally compromised and that public confidence in the judiciary warrants a recommendation that he be removed from office. Echoing the Committee’s conclusions, the majority of Council members found that the judge was never able to provide a simple, rational, coherent, all-encompassing or satisfying explanation for his actions during a suspicious transaction captured by video.

Council’s mandate in judicial conduct matters is to determine whether to recommend the removal of a judge on the basis that the judge, through his conduct or otherwise, placed himself or herself in a position incompatible with the duties of their office. As always, public confidence in the judiciary is paramount. In accordance with Canada’s Constitution, a judge may only be removed from office through a joint resolution of Parliament. Council’s full report, along with information about its function and mandate can be found on its website at www.cjc-ccm.ca.

Contact:
Norman Sabourin
Executive Director and Senior General Counsel
(613) 288-1566 ext 313