Mr. Justice Robin Camp has resigned. You may remember that Camp is the Alberta judge who wondered why a woman who appeared in his courtroom -- alleging that she had been sexually assaulted -- couldn't keep her knees together. He recently underwent a "re-education" regime. Gerry Caplan writes:
Since the rape trial at which he presided so ignorantly, many had argued for the need to educate Mr. Camp in the ways of women and the world. Several feminist scholars were even brought in to give him what was called “in-depth counselling” – a kind of crash course, I guess, on modern women. Three of them decided that he was genuinely interested in changing.
The same goes for his colleague in Halifax, Judge Gregory Lenehan, who in his recent ruling on a sex assault case said “a drunk can consent.” Right. Even when they’re found unconscious in the back of a cab and had peed themselves.
Who are these judges? Have they been on Mars? Do they represent the male judges at the pinnacle of our criminal justice system? Were they unconscious while the endless struggle for women’s equality and a woman’s right to be respected played out as front-page news?
Both men are not uneducated. But both men are ignorant. Caplan argues that the antidote for ignorance is paying attention:
Justice Camp was a university graduate; a well-paid professional. We have the right to expect judges like him to be aware of their surroundings. Of basic morality. When asked why his cabinet was gender-balanced, the Prime Minister said, simply, “Because it’s 2015.” Everyone, but everyone, knew what he meant. No special courses were required by anyone.
It's not just judges. Lots of folks are simply not paying attention. And there is always a price to be paid for ignorance.
Image: Trading Street