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Amid review, Justice Russell Brown refutes claims levelled by U.S. man

As the Canadian Judicial Council reviews a complaint about an alleged incident involving Supreme Court of Canada Justice Russell Brown, the justice is now speaking out, refuting claims levelled by a U.S. man reported in some publications.

On Thursday, Postmedia reported that the complaint to the council was filed by a Jon Crump, who told the outlet that the conduct under review is in relation to an encounter he had with Brown previously.

“Jon Crump alleged Brown pestered him and his friends at a high-end Scottsdale resort,” an article posted by the Vancouver Sun reads.

It goes on to quote Crump as saying that the justice “harassed” the U.S. man’s friends and “spoke about how important he was,” before “fists flew.”

However, Brown is now breaking his silence, refuting any suggestions that he was “the instigator.”

“My original intention in this matter was not to comment while the Canadian Judicial Council’s process runs its course. In light of the false statements in the media by Mr. Jonathan Crump, I am compelled to respond,” the justice said in a statement Friday, released by his attorneys.


Related article: Complaint against Supreme Court of Canada Justice Russell Brown prompts review


Brown says on Jan. 28, he was in Arizona to take part in a banquet. After that event, he says he “joined other attendees at the resort lounge,” where, later in the evening, he was asked to join “a group at a nearby table.”

“While we were talking, Mr. Crump, who had evidently accompanied this group to the lounge, returned to their table. I did not speak or otherwise engage with him,” Brown’s statement explains.

“We all left the lounge at roughly the same time. Outside the lounge, Mr. Crump objected to me rejoining the group and suddenly, without warning or provocation, punched me several times in the head. Taken by surprise, I was unable to defend myself.”

He goes on to say that about an hour after the scuffle, Crump “called police and, in an apparent attempt to avoid facing the consequences of assaulting me, he falsely described me as the instigator.”

“The evidence I provided to the Council corroborates my account of the incident,” Brown’s statement continues.

The justice says the picture Crump has painted in the media is “demonstrably false.”

“This incident has caused me embarrassment and created complications for the Court. I am hopeful that the Council will resolve this matter expeditiously.”

Brown complaint submitted Jan. 29

The Canadian Judicial Council announced on Tuesday, March 7, that it was reviewing a complaint against Brown. It says it received the complaint on Jan. 29.

The Supreme Court recently said he had been on a leave of absence since early February, but did not disclose the reason.

The council previously said Brown provided comments to Christopher Hinkson, chief justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia and chairperson of the council’s judicial conduct committee, at his request, about the complaint on Feb. 20.

There are nine Supreme Court of Canada justices, including a chief justice. They are appointed by the governor in council and “must have been either a judge of a superior court or a member of at least ten years’ standing of the bar of a province or territory.”

Brown was part of a wave of Supreme Court nominations in the waning days of the Stephen Harper administration that is thought to have shifted the political makeup of the court to the right.

-With files from The Canadian Press and Kurtis Doering

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