National Post

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Thursday, April 08, 1999

L'Heureux-Dube dishonest with judicial body: women's group

Shawn Ohler
National Post

A Canadian women's group has accused Supreme Court Justice Claire L'Heureux-Dube of lying to the Canadian Judicial Council while the legal watchdog considered a complaint against her.

REAL Women of Canada said yesterday it has obtained Justice Department documents under the Access to Information Act that show Judge L'Heureux-Dube was not telling the truth about her involvement with the International Federation of Women Lawyers.

In a March 11 letter to the council, Judge L'Heureux-Dube wrote: "With respect to the International Federation of Women Lawyers [FIDA], I am not now, nor have I ever been, to the best of my recollection, affiliated with this organization."

REAL Women has a 1981 document that lists Judge L'Heureux-Dube, who was a Quebec Superior Court justice at that time, as the Canadian vice-president of FIDA.

"We are troubled that the statements Madame Justice Claire L'Heureux-Dube made . . . appears to be at variance with these documented facts," says a letter sent by REAL Women yesterday to Allan McEachern, British Columbia's chief justice and the judicial council conduct committee's chairman.

In its initial complaint to the council, which arose out of Judge L'Heureux-Dube's public quarrel with Alberta Court of Appeal Justice John McClung, REAL Women claimed the Supreme Court jurist's affiliation with feminist groups led to bias. The group wants the veteran judge removed from the Supreme Court.

In dismissing REAL Women's initial complaint against Judge L'Heureux-Dube, the council said that, even if she was a member of FIDA, "membership in such an association would not constitute judicial misconduct."

The two jurists got into a war of words after Judge L'Heureux-Dube criticized Judge McClung in a sexual assault case.

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