Mr. Justice Robert Flahiff of the Quebec Superior Court has resigned from the bench.

Flahiff says his decision is based on a profound respect for the administration of justice.

The announcement was made by Flahiff's lawyer just as the Canadian Judicial Council was about to resume its inquiry into Flahiff's fitness to remain on the job.

Flahiff has been sentenced to three years in prison for laundering $1.7-million for a drug dealer in the late 1980's, before he was appointed to the bench.

Flahiff was not at the Montreal courthouse. His lawyer Christian Desrosiers spoke briefly after the council announced its work was done.

Desrosiers says Flahiff will vigorously defend himself in the Quebec Court of Appeal when it reviews his case.

Flahiff was suspended with pay nearly two years ago and last week officials at the Quebec Superior Court cleared out his office. Officials in ottawa say he's not eligible for a pension.

In his resignation letter, Flahiff says the situation he's living through demands that the common good takes precedence over personal interests.