Federal Court Justice Robin Camp says he's sorry and now better equipped after counselling
A public hearing into Camp's conduct will take place in Calgary in September
The judge who asked a woman, "Why couldn't you just keep your knees together?" during an Alberta sexual assault trial says he is sorry and believes his gender-sensitivity training has left him "better equipped to judge cases with the empathy, wisdom and sensitivity to social context to which all judges aspire."
Federal Court Justice Robin Camp's submissions were made in a notice of response that was posted to the Canadian Judicial Council's website on Monday, the same day a public hearing into his conduct was booked for seven days in Calgary in September.
"Justice Camp's position is that he has not rendered himself incapacitated or disabled from the due execution of the office of judge," reads Camp's response.
Camp indicated he wants to continue in his role as Federal Court judge.
"Justice Camp agrees that he made insensitive and inappropriate comments during the Wagar trial," reads the response.
"He has apologized generally and specifically. He intends to apologize at the Inquiry Committee hearing."
In January, Alberta's Attorney General Kathleen Ganley forced the inquiry by asking the Council to move a complaint made by two law professors at the University of Calgary and Dalhousie University to a formal inquiry.
Camp is in trouble over comments he made while an Alberta provincial court judge in 2014, when he presided over Alexander Scott Wager's sexual assault trial.
The complainant was a 19-year-old woman who alleged she was raped by a man at a Calgary house party.
During her testimony Camp asked her "Why couldn't you just keep your knees together?"
He also referred to her as "the accused" several times throughout the trial.
Camp acquitted the man but the Alberta Court of Appeal overturned the ruling, ordering a new trial. By that point, Camp had been elevated to the Federal Court.
Camp "now understands that some of his prior thinking was infected by stereotypical beliefs and discredited myths," according to the document.
As part of his training and counselling — which Camp arranged and paid for himself — he worked with a Superior Court judge, a psychologist and an expert on the law of sexual assault — all of whom will testify on his behalf at the inquiry.
"His counselling has given him a deeper understanding of the trauma faced by survivors of sexual assault and about the discriminatory history of sexual assault law," reads the submission.
"Justice Camp understands his insensitive and inappropriate comments were hurtful towards sexual assault survivors in particular and Canadians generally."
"He will not make these types of comments again."
Camp has not heard any cases since November.
September's inquiry committee is made up of three council members - Justice Austin Cullen who will act as chairperson, Justice Deborah Smith and Justice Raymond Whalen. Also included on the committee are two senior lawyers — Karen Jensen and Cynthia Petersen.
The Canadian Judicial Council is a group of federally-appointed judges tasked with investigating complaints about their peers. Since it was created in 1971, only two judges have been recommended for removal.
Ultimately, Parliament has the final say, and in both cases the judges who were recommended for dismissal resigned before their cases made it to that point.
The inquiry will examine Federal Court Justice Robin Camp's conduct and has been scheduled for Sept. 6 to 14 at the Westin Hotel in downtown Calgary.
The Canadian Judicial Council announced the hearing dates on its website today and noted that while the proceedings will be open to the public, space is limited.