Law professor withdraws complaint after learning context of Judge's words in Kamloops trial

Image Credit: FILE PHOTO/ iNFOnews.ca

KAMLOOPS - A Vancouver law professor has issued an apology to a B.C. Supreme Court judge for comments he made and has withdrawn a complaint with the Canadian Judicial Council.

UBC Law professor Benjamin Perrin filed the complaint last month after Kamloops This Week quoted Supreme Court judge Peter Leask in a sexual assault trial as saying “Full disclosure: I live in Vancouver... Kamloops is a wonderful place, but I like sleeping in my own bed.” The article also said Leask wanted to speed up the two-week trial.

The Canadian Press and several other news outlets, including this one, picked the story up and ran it last month.

But it appears those comments were taken out of context.

Gordon Clark, editorial pages editor and columnist with The Province newspaper, published a piece yesterday, April 10, showing Leask's comments were taken out of context after reviewing a full transcript.

According to Clark, Leask's comments were made during routine discussions with both Crown and defence counsel and none of his comments, in context, strayed from proper concern about trial planning.

Leask discussed with counsel whether wrapping the trial up within one week would be possible, but also said he had no problem returning to Kamloops for another week.

In an email to iNFOnews.ca, Perrin says he believed his complaint had grounds at the time and that he made public statements suggesting so.

"I have since learned the full context for the remarks and concluded that they do not support the claims I made in the complaint or my public statements," Perrin says. "I have therefore formally withdrawn my complaint to the Canadian Judicial Council in its entirety."

Perrin says he offers a full and unreserved apology to Leask over the complaint. According to the original article, Leask made the comments during opening arguments in the trial when the complainant was out of the courtroom.

The charges in the case were stayed by the Crown on the second day of trial, for reasons not connected to Leask's comments.


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