11/27/2013 11:18 EST | Updated 01/27/2014 05:59 EST

Case of judge whose nude photos ended up on the web is in Federal Court

OTTAWA - Lawyers argued Wednesday over whether the Federal Court has the authority to review a panel looking into the case of a Manitoba judge whose nude photos ended up on the Internet.

Manitoba Queen's Bench Justice Lori Douglas' lawyers have sought a judicial review, alleging a panel investigating her is biased.

Last week, the entire committee of the Canadian Judicial Council looking at the Douglas case resigned, saying that was the only way to move ahead what is already one of the longest-running inquiries in council history.

The committee has been examining Douglas over a 2010 complaint that she sexually harassed a man named Alex Chapman.

Chapman alleged that Douglas' husband showed him sexually explicit photos of the judge and posted those pictures on a website.

Chapman also alleged that the judge's husband, Winnipeg lawyer Jack King, tried to get him to have sex with Douglas.

King was Chapman's divorce lawyer at the time.

Chapman complained to King's law firm and King tried to settle the matter by paying Chapman $25,000 to return all the photos and to not talk about it.

The judicial council inquiry was supposed to look at whether Douglas failed to disclose the matter when she was appointed a judge in 2005 and if the photos should disqualify her from sitting on the bench.

But a Federal Court justice put the inquiry on hold in July pending a judicial review of the allegation of bias by Douglas' lawyer.

It could take some time for a review to conclude, further delaying the inquiry, which has already been mired in procedural delays and court challenges.

Douglas, who became associate chief justice of the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench, denies all the allegations, saying King acted alone without her knowledge.

Douglas is now on paid leave and she is still married to King.