The Conseil de la magistrature du Québec dismisses a complaint concerning a judge’s decision on sexual assault

The Quebec Judicial Council has dismissed complaints about a judge who granted a conditional discharge to a young engineer who pleaded guilty to charges of sexual assault and voyeurism.

Quebec Court Judge Matthieu Poliquin’s decision in June 2022 to grant Simon Houle probation and a conditional discharge – in part because a conviction would have made it difficult for Houle to travel for his engineering work – caused an uproar in the province.

In a decision posted on its website last week, the council, without naming any of the details of the case, concluded that there was no breach by the judge of his ethical obligations, and the council deemed the complaints against him unfounded.

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The judgment clarifies that a complaint must relate to the conduct of the judge, adding that the three complaints filed against Poliquin strictly related to the judgment rendered.

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The council indicates in its decision that it is not an appeal or review body and does not comment on the fairness of the courts’ decisions.

The Crown has requested leave to appeal the sentence in the Houle case, and the Court of Appeal will hear it on December 9.

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