July 13, 2024
The problem with appointments based on political leanings is that it leads to the erosion of judicial independence and increases the possibility of miscarriages of justice, he said.

Doug Ford is wrong about wanting ‘like-minded’ tough-on-crime judges, says ‘tough’ ex-Ontario judge

“We can’t be governed by what the community thinks of us. That’s not why we’re appointed, we’re not politicians.”

Premier Doug Ford is wrong if he thinks appointing “tough” judges will solve violent crime, says a veteran Ontario jurist with a reputation for being a tough judge.

“We want judges who care about the community, give to the community; (who are) decisive, and fearless,” said Norm Douglas, a former prosecutor and Ontario criminal court judge who retired in 2021 after nearly a half-century in the criminal justice system.

“You don’t want ‘Judge Judy’ on the bench,” he said, referencing the tough, moralizing style of the American TV character.

Ford has touched off a firestorm with his public comments responding to a Star exclusive on the appointment of two of his former staffers to the provincial committee responsible for selecting judges for the Ontario Court of Justice. Asked to justify what critics had called “blatant” patronage appointments, Ford explained Monday that he wants “like-minded” judges who share his belief that the “massive crime waves across our cities” are caused by judges releasing too many criminals on bail.

The committee ultimately sends a ranked list of recommendations to the attorney general, who makes the final decision on which judges to appoint.

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