You’d hope an organization of lawyers would hold a more sophisticated world view than this, but alas, the Manitoba Bar Association claims the CBC had no business publishing sensational details of a complaint against a Court of Queen’s Bench judge because—well, because. In a piece published in the current issue of Lawyer’s Weekly, association president Ken Mandzuik does some righteous harumphing about the CBC’s “salacious” coverage of a complaint against Justice Lori Douglas, naked photographs of whom allegedly appeared on a website dedicated to bondage and sado-masochistic sex. “They are going after the sex angle, plain and simple,” he says of the CBC, not really known as a purveyor of smut. Fine, fair enough. Bad CBC. But Mandzuik goes on to suggest the Corp had no business publishing any of the lurid details in the complaint “really, before an official body decides that something that Justice Douglas did was wrong.” Huh? Did counsel miss his law-school class on the Charter, and role of press freedom in a democratic society? In Mandzuik’s ideal universe, it seems, the media would dutifully sit on damaging information involving important people like judges until rightfully empowered panels like the Canadian Judicial Council have a chance to weigh it and pass judgment first. After all, we wouldn’t want Canadians to start judging the behaviour of judges—or for that matter, the judicial council—would we?
Naughty, dirty CBC!
Mother Corp is “after the sex angle” in Manitoba judge scandal, complains bar association