MONTREAL (Sep. 24)
A Canadian judge who remarked during a murder trial earlier this year that Jews did not suffer while being gassed at Auschwitz has resigned.
Judge Jean Bienvenue’s resignation Tuesday came only days after the Canadian Judicial Council had called for his removal.
“We are pleased he respected the council’s decision,” said Reisa Teitelbaum, chairman of the Canadian Jewish Congress Quebec region.
The council recommended last week by a vote of 22-7 that Bienvenue be removed because he had undermined the public’s confidence in the judicial system.
Judge Jean Bienvenue “has shown an almost complete lack of sensitivity to the communities and individuals offended by his remarks,” the council, which includes 35 federally-appointed judges and is headed by Chief Justice Antonio Lamer, said in a statement.
In July, a five-member committee of the council appointed to assess the judge’s behavior also recommended that Bienvenue be removed from the bench.
Along with his comments about Jewish suffering at Auschwitz, Bienvenue, 67, said during the murder trial that women are more capable of cruelty than men.
The council’s vote last week was applauded by the Canadian Jewish Congress – – to whom Bienvenue apologized when the incident was first made public — and by B’nai Brith Canada.