Thursday, 29 April 2010

Hells Angels and Harper Conservatives.

Isn't that a great - no, a terrific - headline?

In today's Question Period in the House of Commons, NDP deputy leader Thomas Mulcair demanded to know more about Justice Léger and the role the Justice Minister played in his appointment.

There is a controversy brewing over the federal government’s appointment of Justice Jacques Leger to the Quebec Court of Appeal in 2006. He is a former president of the Progressive Conservative Party.

According to reports, Judge Leger had advised the Hells Angels on a case involving the gang’s trademarks before his appointment. His relationship with the biker gang came to light after Quebec’s Chief Justice pulled him off a bail hearing of four bikers charged with murder.

“La Presse revealed yesterday that a former lawyer for the Hells Angels, Jacques Léger, was named judge by the law-and-order Conservatives right after they were elected in 2006. … Could the Justice Minister explain what qualifications led the Conservatives to name Jacques Léger a judge?”

More about judge Jacques Léger of the Quebec Court of Appeal being pulled off the case involving the Hells Angels, here. Léger should have anticipated this might be a problem. Why did he not recuse himself?

Oh. Wait. He's a Con.


Anonymous said...

Frankly, I think this little stunt is just that, and a crappy thing to try and pull.

Everyone is entitled to a competent, vigorous defence. EVERYONE. Bernardo, Olsen, Mulrooney - all of the lowest of the low deserved representation.

The fact that a lawyer once included bikers as a client does not preclude their appointment. I want judges who have experience on the defence side of the courts.

Your comment is fair game - he should have recused himself. But his client list, unless part of a large pattern and you hear he's hangin' out at the clubhouse after work - is not.

deBeauxOs said...

zeppo-marx - Are you aware of the fractious and contentious history of encounters between all levels of the Québec legal system and Hells Angels?

Everyone is entitled to legal defense. But that is not what Léger provided to his Hells Angels clients. He willingly, and for a professional fee, gave them corporate counsel regarding trademark issues. No criminal law involved there.

The fact that he did not recuse himself in a case involving employees of a corporation that has demonstrably far-reaching tendrils in the legal system demonstrates a singular lack of judgment, imho.

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