Judge accused of bias against Palestinians shouldn’t keep job, critics tell Federal Court

Complainants are challenging a review body decision that allowed a federal judge to keep his job after he was accused of bias against Palestinians over his views on a proposed university appointment.

Several groups and individuals who complained last year about Judge David Spiro’s actions want the Federal Court to overturn the Canadian Judicial Council’s ruling that while Spiro made serious mistakes, he should remain on the bench.

A notice of application was filed with the court Wednesday by the National Council of Canadian Muslims, the Arab Canadian Lawyers Association, the Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association, Independent Jewish Voices, and academics Craig Scott and Leslie Green.

A panel convened by the judicial council found Spiro should not have weighed in on the appointment of Valentina Azarova as director of the International Human Rights Program of the University of Toronto’s law faculty.

Azarova is an international law and human rights scholar based in Germany who has been critical of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

The council said last month the panel had concluded that while Spiro made mistakes, these were not serious enough to warrant a recommendation for his removal from office.

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