Thursday, June 26, 2008


Judge Max Teitelbaum was appointed a Judge of the Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division on October 29, 1985.

It can be assumed that the Prime Minister of the day, one Brian Mulroney, had the last word in the approval of the appointment. See After a long judicial career, Teitelbaum retired on January 2007. Two days later, he was appointed as Deputy Judge of the Federal Court. It can be assumed that the Prime Minister of that day, one Stephen Harper, had the last word in the approval of that appointment.

It was Judge Teitelbaum, a Judge appointed by a Progressive Conservative and Conservative government, who heard an application by ex-prime Minister Jean Chretien. Chretien had applied to have the Court review the Gomery Commission report on the grounds that Gomery showed a 'reasonable apprehension of bias' and that some conclusions made by Gomery, did not have an 'evidentiary' basis. Chretien was particularly interested in having the Gomery finding set aside that stated that he and Jean Pelletier had erred in the oversight of the sponsorship program.

Judge Teitelbaum, a Judge appointed by Chretien's political foes, today came down with his decision. The decision was extraordinary in his condemnation of Gomery's inappropriate statements, behaviour, partiality, and preoccupation with the media. He struck down Gomery's finding of Chretien and Pelletier's oversight errors. See

Chretien and Pelletier are very happy men today.

Gomery, who can't seem to pass an open mike without saying a few words, has of course, already said a few words, some among them being, "It is particularly disappointing that I am held to be, appear to be, a biased judge." Amen to that. And shameful too.

Our hats go off to Teitelbaum for his courageous and correct decision.

Justice Jeffrey Oliphant, who is to preside over the Mulroney-Schreiber catfight, should consider
this case and Teitelbaum's role therein very carefully. Teitelbaum owed nothing to Chretien and Pelletier. He owed nothing to Gomery. But had the decision gone the other way, there would have been many who would conclude that he had struck a blow for the Conservative Party who appointed him.

In Oliphant's case, many would reasonably believe that he owed Mulroney for his appointment. Mulroney is one of the main players whose actions are to be judged by Oliphant. Oliphant is in a far more sensitive position in the proceedings before him than Teitelbaum was in the Gomery proceedings. If his decision favours Mulroney, it will be a black mark on his career. Justice Oliphant, recuse yourself. If not for others, for yourself!

No comments: