Mar 31, 2009 12:20 PM
The Canadian Judicial Council is recommending Justice Paul Cosgrove be removed from office, leaving the former Trudeau cabinet minister facing what his profession describes as "capital punishment for a judge."
"We find that Justice Cosgrove has failed in the execution of the duties of his judicial office and that public confidence in his ability to discharge those duties in the future has been irrevocably lost," the council, made up of 22 of the country's chief justices and senior judges, said in a 16-page decision today.
"We find that there is no alternative measure to removal that would be sufficient to restore public confidence in the judge in this case," they said.
It is only the second time in its history that the council has recommended to the federal justice minister that a sitting judge be removed from office.
Cosgrove, a former mayor of Scarborough, appeared in person before his fellow jurists when they gathered in a Toronto hotel earlier this month to consider his case.
In a 4-1 decision, a CJC inquiry panel had earlier recommended his removal for misconduct during a sensational Ottawa murder case in 1999.
The Ontario Superior Court judge fought back.
"I'm 74 years of age and I've been a judge close to a quarter century," Cosgrove told the panel in a basement ballroom of the Intercontinental Hotel. "Being a judge allows me to contribute to the community in the best way I know how."
Cosgrove was appointed to the bench in 1984 by former Prime Minister John Turner and was based for most of his career at the Brockville courthouse.
He landed in hot water after the trial of Julia Elliott, a former Barbados masseuse who had been charged with killing Kemptville-area mechanic Larry Foster, whose body parts were found floating in the Rideau River in Aug. 1995. Cosgrove freed Elliott at the end of a two-year proceeding, finding that police and Crown officials, including a high-ranking lawyer in the Crown Law Office, committed approximately 150 violations of her Charter rights.
In Dec. 2003, the Ontario Court of Appeal concluded virtually all of Cosgrove's findings were unsubstantiated and ordered that Elliott be retried. She pleaded guilty to manslaughter and is incarcerated in a Kitchener prison.
Nearly five months after the appeal court's ruling, then-Attorney General Michael Bryant complained to the judicial council about Cosgrove's conduct at the trial, which automatically triggered the inquiry process.
Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre
The Court of appeal was the court that literally terminated Justice Cosgrove. Some Ontario Superior Court Judges routinely, habitually, make decisions that are "a flagrant abuse of judicial discretion" yet the Ontario Court of Appeal simply sweeps it under the table, they sanitize any decision that heaps injustice on male litigants, especially self represented litigants. The worst of the worst of the Judiciary, commit draconian flagrant abuses for nothing other than their own anger and desire for revenge. These are symptoms of personality disorders for which potential judges are not given any screening. Administrative judges use them as "hit men" do do the court's dirty work of robbing children of fathers simply because its politically correct. See the latest Roscoe graphs of judicial bias at the ottawamenscentre site.