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Dud Judge

Well, there will be, allegedly, a Judicial Council. What complaints will it receive? Possibly not all it should.

It will not accept complaints which amount to an attack on the outcome of a case, nor should it. It will not accept complaints which are calculated to sap the spirit or determination of the judge. This latter class is of interest. After all, any complaint accepted by the Council would sap the determination of a normal person at the receiveing end of the complaint. In reality, only objective evidence of poor standards of judicial conduct will make it to the Council.

What would that be? It is hard to be dogmatic, but there are some events which, when reported, point almost invariably towards bad judicial behaviour as an explanation. (Oddly, and significantly, these events are often not reported by the media; most people try to get along without conflict).
In principle, a judge who issues a warrant for the arrest of the local Superintendent of the Garda Siochana is wrong. This is not to say that the Superintendent is beyond the law, just that the part played by the Garda Siochana in the normal functioning of the court’s business is supportive and could hardly be otherwise. It is more likely that a judge has become a lunatic than that the police function has become a maverick. (If the police function has become maverick, which can and has happened, the judiciary are, inevitably, complicit in that.)
What of other figures of power? Surely the Chief Executives of State bodies should not be permitted to cock a snook at the courts? Should they not be arrested?

Well, no.

What about legal practitioners? Should disruption of the court by defence counsel not be curbed by a timely arrest?

Well, no.

The actual problem, for the future, is to elicit complaints to the Council from the victims of such judicial behaviour. What Superintendent would not prefer to limit the unpleasantness already experienced and avoid a full blown investigation of an embarrassing clash with a judge? Would he/she receive support from the Commissioner in pursuing a complaint to the Council?

Probably not.

Finally, if there exists a Judicial Review list in the High Court consisting of cases from the work of one judge, is it not time to look at the judge, as well as his errors?

One Comment

  1. If the police function has become maverick, which can and has happened, the judiciary are, inevitably, complicit in that.

    This quote terrifies me! That is all!

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