Ontario judge loses bid to block fitness inquiry


The Canadian Press

OTTAWA An Ontario judge has failed in a bid to block a public inquiry into his fitness to remain on the bench.

In a decision released without comment, the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear arguments from Justice Paul Cosgrove, who sparked outrage with his handling of an Ottawa-area murder case in 1999.

Judge Cosgrove stayed charges against Julia Elliott, accused of killing retired auto mechanic Larry Foster and dumping his dismembered body into the Rideau River.

He cited more than 150 examples of supposed violations of Mr. Elliott's rights by the Crown and police. The Ontario Court of Appeal, however, found no factual basis for the decision and said Judge Cosgrove had abused his judicial power.

Former Ontario attorney-general Michael Bryant asked the Canadian Judicial Council to investigate whether Judge Cosgrove was fit to continue in his post.

The judge responded with a constitutional challenge arguing that the move infringed judicial independence. He won his case at the trial division of Federal Court, but the appeal division reversed the finding and sent the matter back to the panel set up by the judicial council to conduct the inquiry.