The council that’s responsible for hearing complaints against judges in the N.W.T. has decided that it can’t hear complaints about a judge who no longer works in the territory.
In a decision released on Friday, a panel for the Judicial Council for Territorial Court Judges said it’s not going to hold a hearing into complaints against former territorial court judge Donovan Molloy.
Molloy abruptly resigned as a territorial court judge in July, just before a hearing into alleged misconduct was about to begin.
The complaints were filed by a Crown prosecutor almost two and a half years ago.
The Public Prosecution Service of Canada later filed a similar complaint against Molloy.
The complaints alleged that Molloy engaged in personal attacks on lawyers appearing before them, some of which left the lawyers in tears or in physical distress.
Back in July, the representative for the complainant argued that the hearing should still go forward, in order to provide “closure.”
In its decision, the panel said it does not have the authority to hear complaints against former judges, and that even if it did, it would decline to do so.
The panel cites two reasons.
First, that there’s “no reasonable prospect” the judge could participate meaningfully in the hearing, given evidence presented relating to his physical and psychiatric condition. Holding a hearing without this participation would be unfair, the panel concluded.
And second, even if the hearing was held, any resulting reprimand against the former judge would have “no practical effect.”