“Under fire Quebec Appeal Court won’t suspend contested secularism bill”
Monday, December 16, 2019 @ 1:27 PM | By Luis Millan
A divided Quebec Court of Appeal, grappling with a series of controversial complaints against its chief justice, has refused to stay sections of the province’s secularism bill even though it acknowledges that the controversial ban on religious symbols is causing irreparable harm to some people.
The decision comes on the heels of a series of complaints lodged against Court of Appeal Chief Justice Nicole Duval Hesler before the Canadian Judicial Council over bias she has allegedly demonstrated against the province’s secularism law.
“It is obvious that the ethics process is being exploited by people who are fully aware of the consequences,” said Emmanuelle Bernheim, a law professor at the Université de Québec à Montréal who co-wrote the book Applied Judicial Ethics. “The chances that the complaints will go anywhere are very limited. But the consequences, or potential consequences, go beyond the question of laicity. It seems to me that it brings into question the legitimacy of the courts in general. It’s very disturbing.”