The exterior of the Supreme Court of Canada building on Wellington Street in Ottawa, ON., Thursday August 11, 2011.(QMI Agency/JOHN MAJOR)
OTTAWA - The Supreme Court of Canada on Tuesday looked into the issue of judicial plagiarism in a case involving the family of a child who suffered brain damage during birth at the British Columbia Women's Hospital and Health Centre in 2001.
An appeal court ordered a new trial when it was found B.C. Supreme Court Justice Josh Groves, in his ruling awarding $4 million in damages to Eric Victor Cojocaru and his mother, incorporated significant portions of the family's submission without attribution. Groves copied 321 out of 368 paragraphs of his decision almost word-for-word, court documents said.
"We conclude that the reasons for judgment must be rejected because they cannot be taken to represent the trial judge's analysis of the issues or the reasoning for his conclusions," Justices Risa Levine and Pamela Kirkpatrick wrote in their 2011 decision.
The mother, Monica Cojocaru, appealed the decision to the country's top court.
The question the Supreme Court has to rule on is whether adopting the conclusions of only one party in a judgment undermines the presumption of judicial integrity and impartiality.