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Judge's disciplinary hearing on hold for judicial review

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The disciplinary hearing into the conduct of Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Lori Douglas is on hold.

The hearing by Canadian Judicial Council was slated to resume later this summer, but a Federal Court Justice today granted a stay pending a judicial review to determine whether the CJC’s panel of five judges is biased against Douglas.

It’s the latest twist in what has been a tortuous process, and amounts to a win for Douglas. But it also means the disciplinary inquiry into her conduct may not resume for months, even years.

The Douglas saga has already been dragging on for nearly three years. In the summer of 2010, Alex Chapman filed a complaint with the CJC accusing Douglas of sexual harassment. Chapman alleges Douglas's husband, Winnipeg lawyer Jack King, sent him nude photos of his wife and wanted Chapman to have sex with her, all while King was representing Chapman in a divorce case.

The inquiry began last summer but was put on hold after Douglas's lawyer filed a judicial-review application questioning whether the five-member inquiry committee was biased after aggressive questioning by the lawyer representing the committee. Douglas's lawyer called the questions sexist and insulting and wants the inquiry ended.

It’s not yet clear when the judicial review will begin.

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