The Ontario Judicial Council addresses complaints made surrounding the conduct of provincially appointed judges. The Council is made up of: the Chief Justice of Ontario, the Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice, the Associate Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice, a Regional Senior Judge of the Ontario Court of Justice, two judges of the Ontario Court of Justice, the Treasurer of the Law Society of Ontario, a lawyer who is not a bencher of the Law Society of Ontario, and four people who are not judges or lawyers.
To make a complaint, a letter must be submitted to the Council outlining the details of the court hearing and an outline of the incident which is believed to show misconduct. If this incident took place outside of the courtroom, as much detail must be provided as possible. Once this letter has been received, the complainant will be notified.
If the complaint is deemed relevant to the topic of judicial misconduct, a two-person committee consisting of a judge and community member of the Council will begin the process. If the complaint is not dismissed as frivolous or an abuse of process, an investigation will be launched and a report presented to a review panel of four other members of the Council. At this point, the complaint can be dismissed by the review panel, referred to the Chief Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice who will then speak to the judge about their behavior, or a hearing can be ordered to address the complaint.
Based on the results of this hearing, the judge can be issued a warning or removed from office. Both the complainant and the judge will be notified of the decision reached by the council.
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