"SUMMARY: The judge communicated in private with the opposing counsel during the trial. I want to know what these “ex parte” communications were."
LINK to full Motion Record
This site is devoted to transparency at the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada. UofOWatch exposes institutional behaviour that is not consistent with the public good.
"SUMMARY: The judge communicated in private with the opposing counsel during the trial. I want to know what these “ex parte” communications were."
LR: Our next question is about the Security and Policy Institute.Video by La Rotonde:
LR: So, since the Board of Governors and the Senate were not consulted, we would like to know who approved the program and why there were no consultations?
Rock: Yes. Generally, when we launch a new program, whether it’s in Science, or the Faculty of Arts, or somewhere, we have a consultation and then we also have an analysis and discussions at the level of the Senate and its committees. In this case, we are talking about a program that is non-academic, in the sense that it’s not credited, it’s a program which is offered to people who are implicated in the domain, so that they can perfect their skills, in the professional sense. So, given that it’s not an academic program, we don’t need approval from the Senate and we did not initiate a consultation like we would do with an academic program. The Continuing Education Centre exists in order to give people who are already in the job market a means of improving and perfecting their professional skills — we hire people mostly from outside the university as teachers — so it’s not an academic program as such. We use the framework of the university to offer professional programs, and we also hope to generate additional revenue for the university.
“It’s a service offered by the Centre for Continuing Education. The Centre’s objective is to offer non-credited professional training. Programs are not approved by the Senate because the programs are not academic. It’s not an academic activity in the sense that it would have to have approval of the Senate because a degree is awarded. [The training] is aside from the central mission of the university and it’s a means of generating revenue to help us in our main mission, which is the academic programs. According to us, we don’t need approval from the Senate or Board.”Rock further explained that the upper administration of the university approved the SPI program.
“It’s up to the Working Group to decide exactly what they will recommend. I think it was in 2007-2008 that the university proposed the code of conduct, and it was not well-received. There were inadequate consultations, and all that, but I would rather not prejudge the Working Group’s report. It’s up to them to decide what their judgment is concerning the appropriate steps at present. And I imagine it’s possible that they will recommend a code of conduct, but we will have to wait for the report.Meanwhile, the SFUO has begun organizing to oppose the re-introduction of a student Code, according to a recent article in The Fulcrum.
I think the most appropriate thing for me to do is wait for the Working Group’s report and to not influence their analysis or pre-judge what they will recommend. It’s up to them [the members of the Working Group] to analyze the current situation and come up with their recommendations. And naturally, we will make their report public, and we will have a discussion — we will decide what to do, but it’s not up to me to judge. I will wait for their report.”
The upper administration does not respect the recommendations of the University's impartial and independent assessor, the ombudsperson. In a recent investigation where she deemed there to be a "grave injustice against a student", the administration has refused to remedy the situation.
|Chateau Laurier, Ottawa, Canada (not USA?)|
"Lack of student input into the consultation process ... The consulting group did not include students in their process, and so this report does not address or cover student concerns. ... There was no student input solicited for the original consultative document, and there has been a lack of effort on the part of the University to solicit feedback from students even though we are at the heart of this proposal. GSPIA students would appreciate a consultation session, especially as we stand to be strongly affected by the proposed SoG."
I am writing to you in regards to the projected School of Government. Listed as one of the initiatives on the horizon in the plan Destination 20/20, where it is introduced as «a premier centre for governance and public-policy research» (...), this project remains a mystery to most members of our university community.
About a year ago, at the Ottawa Mayor's Breakfast: Ottawa Business Journal and Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, you explained to the members of the business community present that ... Yet, one year later, as attested by the feedback we received from many members who are themselves part of «the exceptional cluster of expertise that is already at the University», i.e. faculty conducting research in the areas of governance, public administration, international affairs, security and human rights, everyone on campus it seems, has been kept in the dark. No relevant information on the projected school has been formally shared by the administration. Not a word on it is to be found in the minutes of the Senate meetings held in the 2012-2013 academic year (...). Similarly, not a word on it is to be found in the minutes of the Board of governors meetings held in the 2012-2013 academic year ...
MEDIA ADVISORY: Launch of the Security and Policy Institute of Professional Development at the University of Ottawa
OTTAWA, September 8, 2014 — The University of Ottawa invites members of the media to attend the launch of the Security and Policy Institute of Professional Development. The new institute will offer a unique professional development program for decision-makers working in the public, para-public and private sectors whose responsibilities require them to pay particular attention to national and international security issues.
The courses offered by the Institute will focus on sharing knowledge and best practices to help students take more informed decisions.
In honour of the Institute’s launch, internationally renowned intelligence expert George Friedman will present the first in a series of in-depth lectures on emerging security issues given by world-leading specialists.
Serge Blais, Director of the Centre for Continuing Education at the University of Ottawa, will be on hand to answer questions about this new professional development program.
WHAT: Lecture and inauguration of the new Security and Policy Institute of Professional Development
WHEN: Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 12:30 p.m.
WHERE: Ballroom of the Chateau Laurier, 1 Rideau Street, Ottawa
Previously, he served in the Israeli air force for 25 years. He retired from service as a Colonel and continues to perform active reserve duty in the air force and in the Ministry of Defense. Mr. Angel holds BSc. degree in Industrial Engineering and an MBA from Ben Gurion University, Israel.
"Mr. Rock’s decision is more inexplicable than ever today. It reeks of injustice."
1. This appeal raises fundamental questions about:
(a) the sufficient conditions that give rise to a reasonable apprehension of bias, regarding financial and institutional ties, in-court procedural decisions, the charge to the jury, and express findings from the bench;
(b) the right of a litigant to argue an abuse-of-process remedy in a defamation trial, which was pleaded in pleadings that were not stuck out;
(c) the right of a defendant to have his pleaded defences and remedies considered by the jury in a defamation trial;
(d) whether the charge to the jury in a defamation trial can limit the jury members to either accept or reject specified meanings of the words complained of;
(e) whether an imbedded video that is an integral part of a web article (“blogpost”) complained of and that is essential to the context of the alleged libel in a defamation action must be shown to the jury at trial;
(f) the limiting of a defendant’s freedom of expression by a permanent injunction that forbids future unknown statements about the plaintiff, following a successful defamation action;
(g) costs policy principles, the Charter principle of freedom of expression, and the common law of awarding costs, for costs of a defamation trial against an impecunious defendant when there are no costs to the plaintiff.
|Click image for link to change.org petition|
|Click image for link to Sun News video report|
TABLE OF CONTENT
- Jury awarded damages of $350,000.
- Permanent injunction and take down order
- Plaintiff seeks judicial finding of contempt of court
- Strong case for appeal
- Need financial help and pro bono lawyer for appeal
- Trial judge's ties to the University of Ottawa
- Links to media reports
"The defendant has not introduced any evidence establishing a defence therefore there is no defence for you to consider."
The motion asked Justice Charbonneau to recuse himself from the trial of the St. Lewis v. Rancourt case because the case is all about the University of Ottawa, because the plaintiff's legal fees are paid by the University of Ottawa, because all of Justice Charbonneau's university degrees are from the University of Ottawa, because Justice Charbonneau is a regular and annual donor to the university, because Justice Charbonneau was a law firm partner with the case management judge in the case (Justice Robert Smith, who is barred from being the trial judge), and because there is thus a mutual financial interest between the university and the trial judge (which I explicitly argued orally).
I also argued in my motion that Justice McNamara had set a precedent by recusing himself in a litigation in which the University of Ottawa was a party, because he has a degree from the university (see Justice McNamara's endorsement decision here), and that Justice McNamara had asked Justice Hackland to assign a judge that had no ties to the University of Ottawa in that case. The latter was doubly specified via a separate endorsement signed by Master Calum MacLeod (see here).
And, I showed that I had asked Justice Hackland, back in 2012, to assign a case judge that has no ties to the University of Ottawa, that he answered he would not and that if I had "legitimate" bias concerns to bring them in a motion (see Hackland letters here).
|Media photo -- Ottawa Citizen|
Your Honour, the law foresees that I must be free to advance the very serious charge of “reasonable apprehension of bias”.
It is very difficult for me to make this intervention. Give me five minutes because I must present the new evidence.
During my motion of May 7, 2014, asking that Your Honour recuse himself, Your Honour’s decision was silent on the central point that I had made that Your Honour’s decisions in this action could affect the reputation of the University of Ottawa and affect the monetary value of its scholarships, to which Your Honour donates money regularly and annually.
Then, on the first day of trial, Monday May 12 of this week, we did a motion in the afternoon, a so-called “Voir Dire”, with detailed facta [see all court-filed documents for this motion HERE]. Mr. Dearden [plaintiff's lawyer] brought the motion with a factum of 32 pages served on May 9 and accompanied by a book of authorities of 347 pages. His motion was to eliminate my defence called “Litigation by proxy contrary to the Charter”.
I answered with a factum of May 9 containing 14 pages and accompanied by a book of authorities of 342 pages. I argued in detail that, in fact, my defense was a defence of abuse of process having three branches, with one branch being the “Jameel” defence based on a 2005 decision of the England and Wales Court of Appeal: Dow Jones Inc. v. Jameel, and I pointed to paragraphs 68 to 71 of my “Statement of Defence” as pleading this Jameel defence.
The decision of this Court [of Your Honour] was pronounced on May 14 regarding the said motion or Voir Dire: The paragraphs 61 to 67 of the Statement of Defence were struck. Paragraphs 68 to 71 remained intact, as did my Jameel defence.
Then, on May 15, yesterday, during my Opening Statement, the Court allowed Mr. Dearden to interrupt me when I was explaining my Jameel defence to the Jury. And Your Honour, off the cuff, struck and forbade my Jameel defence despite my protest, and despite the fact of not having done so when Your Honour should have done so if you had had that intension.
It has been more than three years that I have been fighting for procedural justice in this action — and my “Statement of Claim” is struck, cut into pieces, before my eyes during my Opening Statement, in contradiction with the considered decision of May 14 of Your Honour.
This would give nightmares to Kafka himself.
To my eyes, we are no longer in Canada — and we can no longer claim to have a system of justice in this action before you Your Honour.
I am outraged by this gag order imposed in a manner that is apparently arbitrary, which does not allow me to be heard and to “have my day in court”.
I have pleaded “abuse of process” at every step and now, at trial itself, I don’t even have the right to say that the University of Ottawa is entirely financing the plaintiff or the right to use the Jameel defense that applies to situations where the defendant advances a lack of actual damage to reputation, that’s “actual” damage, and to “reputation”, not some other kind of damage.
I was very disturbed by these incomprehensible events, and I have been deeply perturbed all day yesterday; confused also, as a self-represented litigant. This morning I inform the Court that I can no longer participate in such a process.
Therefore, I’m leaving this unjust process. You will take the decisions in my absence. It’s over for me: I’m leaving.
Order PO-3294: University ordered to disclose all the records to the individual.
Order PO-3298: University ordered to require a named doctor to perform a search.
Order PO-3302: Adjudicator does not uphold the University's application for its exclusion on the alleged basis of "employment or labour relations".
Order PO-3312: University ordered to disclose 20 records that it was withholding.
Order PO-3314: University ordered to disclose 50% of the records that it was withholding.
Order PO-3318: University ordered to disclose all the responsive information in the withheld records.
“It is disappointing that it takes involving the media to get a statement from the administration” Krawus said, adding that the statement is geared toward the media as opposed to the student body.
But according to Krawus, the university’s fear of attracting bad publicity trumps a stance against sexist behaviour.
“In failing to apologize in a timely manner, the message (the administration) is sending is: We’re afraid of attracting bad press,” says Krawus, adding that “the message should be: what happened will not be tolerated at school sanctioned events.”
The APUO is extremely disappointed in the decision rendered in Professor Denis Rancourt’s case. While the decision not only upheld the Employer’s unjust dismissal decision, the arbitrator also made some troubling statements concerning Academic Freedom which can have a profoundly negative impact on academics everywhere. APUO has filed for judicial review and will continue to work diligently on this case so the decision does not adversely affect the right to academic freedom of professors, librarians, and students in the university setting. (LINK)
|Click image for link to web site|
Release: Supreme Court of Canada refuses to address judicial bias loophole
(OTTAWA, March 6, 2014) – The Supreme Court of Canada has refused today to close a loophole that allows judges to circumvent their duty to address complaints of bias made against them by litigants.
Three judges of the Court dismissed a leave to appeal regarding an egregious case of apparent bias. A judge of the Ontario Superior Court in Ottawa had a financial and emotional connection with a party in a lawsuit, and a family connection with the law firm representing that party. When the defendant in the lawsuit requested to bring a motion regarding the judge’s appearance of bias, the judge threatened him with contempt of court, then abruptly withdrew from the case. Previous decisions made by the judge still stand and have never been reviewed in light of the bias allegations.
The Ontario Civil Liberties Association (OCLA) intervened both by providing material witness evidence about the judge’s in-court conduct, and by seeking intervener status to address the national importance of the matter before the Supreme Court. Its motion for leave to intervene was denied, as was the applicant’s leave to appeal.
This opens a new era within the Canadian legal system, where judges can circumvent their duty to directly address bias accusations against them, making it possible for a complaint of bias to never be heard on its merits before a court of competent jurisdiction.
OCLA is taking the necessary steps to make a complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee for violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees an impartial court to every litigant in signatory countries.
About the Ontario Civil Liberties Association
OCLA is an organization formed to defend civil liberties at a time when fundamental freedoms are subjected to systemic erosion in all spheres of social life. OCLA opposes institutional policies and decisions that remove from the individual his or her personal liberty or exclude the individual from participation in the democratic functions of society.
Background: An Ontario superior court judge had strong personal, family, emotional, and contractual financial ties to a party intervening for the plaintiff in the case, and also to the law firm representing the party in court, and did not disclose any of these ties. This party was also the employer of the plaintiff in the lawsuit, and funded the plaintiff’s litigation. The judge was tasked with determining the propriety of the party’s funding of the plaintiff, which was done with public money. The judge’s ties made it inconceivable that he would rule against the party. When the defendant discovered the judge’s ties and presented the evidence, the judge lost decorum, threatened the defendant with contempt of court, and recused himself, but refused to consider whether there was an appearance of bias, and continued to release decisions. The judge’s in-court reaction and walkout further confirmed his ties with the party in the lawsuit. The defendant raised the matter with six more judges, up to the court of appeal, but all of them refused to duly consider and properly apply the facts. As a result, all the decisions of the judge in the impugned motion to end the action stand to this day, even the decisions he released after recusing himself. [From: the application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada of Dr. Denis Rancourt]