Manitoba

Manitoba judge not sitting on criminal trial

Robert Dewar, the Manitoba judge whose comments about a sexual assault victim have been widely condemned, will not be presiding over a jury trial in a manslaughter case which had been set to start next week.
Protesters at a rally last week demand Justice Robert Dewar's resignation. (CBC)
Robert Dewar, the Manitoba judge whose comments about a sexual assault victim have been widely condemned, will not be presiding over a jury trial in a manslaughter case which had been set to start next week.

It was not immediately clear who decided a different judge should oversee the trial, however concerns were raised about the publicity surrounding Dewar and how that could have an adverse effect on the manslaughter trial.

Manitoba Justice Robert Dewar's comments in a sexual assault case have sparked outrage. ((Department of Justice Canada))
On Tuesday, Manitoba's chief justice of the Court of Queen's Bench said Dewar would still work as a judge, but would not sit on cases of "a sexual nature."

"Justice Dewar's assignments will be determined by the Chief Justice in consultation with the Associate Chief Justice," Glenn Joyal said in a prepared statement. "Justice Dewar continues to sit as a judge of the Court of Queen's Bench, but he has agreed that pending the outcome of the complaints before the Canadian Judicial Council he will not be assigned criminal cases of a sexual nature."

The Canadian Judicial Council is currently reviewing Dewar's conduct after receiving numerous complaints about his comments.

Dewar said "sex was in the air" when he sentence a man in a sexual assault case to a two-year conditional sentence to be served in the community.