The Canadian Bar Association and the Manitoba Bar Association unreservedly denounce the use of a private investigator against Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench Chief Justice Glenn Joyal. Chief Justice Joyal made the revelation during a court hearing July 12 in a case involving several rural churches challenging COVID-19 restrictions in the province. He added he is concerned the goal of the investigation was to influence his decision in the case involving those churches.
The use of a private investigator as detailed by Chief Justice Joyal threatens the integrity of proceedings before the court, bringing the administration of justice into disrepute, and is a violation of his right to privacy. It also raises serious security concerns for the judiciary, officers of the court and court staff. It is particularly disturbing that the location of Chief Justice Joyal’s home and private cottage were known.
We condemn this kind of behaviour being directed against a judge and at no time would it have any place in the conduct of a trial. Judicial independence is a crucial legal principle that guarantees judges have the freedom to make their decisions based solely on the facts and the laws. Judicial independence is precisely that which guarantees the rights and freedoms of every person in Canada.
Bradley D. Regehr
Canadian Bar Association President
Ian B. Scarth
Manitoba Branch President
Read more on this developing situation:
Manitoba chief justice says private investigator followed him in attempt to catch him breaking COVID-19 rules
Lawyer files misconduct complaint after private investigator hired to follow Manitoba chief justice