There will be no sanction against the Alberta judge accused of discrimination

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There will be no sanction against the Alberta judge accused of discrimination

< p class="sc-v64krj-0 dlqbmr">The chair of the Canadian Judicial Council committee calls for the case of the accused Terry Clackson to be closed, arguing that he has learned his lesson (archives).

The Canadian Judicial Council (CJC) will not go any further in the case involving Alberta judge Terry Clackson. He was accused in 2019 by a group of 42 legal and medical experts of having used, in a judgment, discriminatory terms that could be considered racist towards a doctor of Nigerian origin who was testifying .

In his judgment on the acquittal of Collet and David Stephan in September 2019, Terry Clackson mentions that the medical examiner Bamidele Adeagbo spoke with an accent and was difficult to understand, also criticizing his body language.

The complaint was reviewed by Christopher Hinkson, chair of the CJC's Judicial Conduct Committee and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, who ordered that it be dismissed, with no further action.

Several reasons were given by Christopher Hinkson in his report to justify his request to close the case.

First, he explains that Judge Terry Clackson admitted during his hearing that his comments about Dr. Adeagbo may have implied that he was insensitive to the communication difficulties experienced by the latter in answering questions. which were put to him by the court.

The Alberta judge would also have admitted to having been insensitive to the fact that his remarks could be perceived as derogatory, both by the witness and by d' others. The decision states that he therefore offered his sincere apologies to Dr. Adeagbo promising to work to do better.

Finally, Christopher Hinkson argues that Justice Clackson has read books dealing with cultural sensitivity, and that he continues to attend, on a regular basis, cultural competency courses offered by judicial educators.

In light of this, the Committee Chair says he is satisfied that Judge Terry Clackson has learned of the event, and orders the case closed accordingly.

In 2019, 42 plaintiffs petitioned the Canadian Judicial Council to request an investigation into the tone and language used by Judge Terry Clackson in his judgment on the acquittal of David and Collet Stephan, who had cared for their son 19 months with natural remedies before his death.

In his decision, Judge Clackson explains that he retains the opinion of the defense medical expert rather than that of the doctor Bamidele Adeagbo .

He writes this to explain his choice: [Bamidele Adeagbo's] ability to present his thought clearly and in a way that made himself understood was greatly impaired by: his confused enunciation, his inability to use proper endings for plurals and tenses past tense, his inability to use the correct definite and indefinite articles, his repeated emphasis on the wrong syllables, the lack of pronunciation of his hs, the mispronunciation of his vowels and the speed of his responses.

The judge also writes that the doctor's non-verbal language and buffoonish gestures are not consistent with the behaviors generally associated with the testimony of a professional opinion, impartial and rational.

Experts who complained to the CJC believe Judge Terry Clackson's remarks constituted racism as he referred to national or ethnic origin [ of the doctor in Bamidele Adeagbo] as a person with African roots.

With information from The Canadian Press

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