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Jan Advocate 2017

THE ADVOCATE V O L . 7 5 P A R T 1 J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7 147 Our second concern relates to the implication of displaying apparel linked to the Trump campaign and the controversial conduct that the campaign and Mr. Trump personally came to be associated with. Regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with Mr. Trump’s policies, it is well known that certain aspects of his campaign, and certain statements made by Mr. Trump, were highly offensive in regard to women and to certain minority groups. Individuals appearing before Justice Zabel would reasonably be apprehensive about the bias communicated by the display of that particular political symbol given the views expressed by the Trump campaign. Whether or not Justice Zabel in fact intended to endorse those controversial views, the perception of bias that he created by his actions threatens to bring the justice system into disrepute. We are aware that Justice Zabel has apologized for his conduct, and that he has said that his actions were a misguided attempt at humour. The apology and his actual intentions, however, are beside the point. The damage has been done. It is the integrity and reputation of the judicial system that matter to our members and to the public, and not the intentions of an individual judge. The Ontario Bar Association believes that censure is required to underscore the importance of political neutrality to our justice system and to remedy the reasonable apprehension of bias engendered by Justice Zabel’s inappropriate conduct. We ask to be informed of the Council’s eventual decision. Lorna A. Pawluk was reappointed as a member of the board of the British Columbia Institute of Technology for a term ending December 31, 2018. Sometimes you have just had enough. Judge Owen of the Western Australia Supreme Court retired after rendering an 850-page, 9,762-paragraph judgment in The Bell Group Ltd. (in liq) v. Westpac Banking Corp. (No 9) 2008 WASC 239, stating: 9759 I am not so naïve as to believe that the handing down of these reasons will mark the end of the litigation. But stranger things have happened. It is still not too late for the parties to put an end to this saga by a negotiated settlement, guided (perhaps) by the findings I have made. If formal judgment is never entered, or if there is a consent judgment on negotiated terms (whether or not they accord with what is contained in these reasons) I will be the last person to complain. 9760 Whatever the parties decide to do from here, my role in the litigation will come to an end in the near future. Selfish though it may seem, for me that is the primary concern. I will try to engender sympathy for those who come after me: but I make no promises. 9761 From time to time during the last five years I felt as if I were confined to an oubliette. There were occasions on which I thought the task of completing this case might be sempiternal. Fortunately, I have not yet been called upon to confront the infinite and, better still, a nepenthe beckons. Part of the nepenthe (which may even bear that name) is likely to involve a yeast-based substance. It will most certainly involve a complete avoidance of making decisions and writing judgments.


Jan Advocate 2017
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