Thursday, August 08, 2013
This news report illustrates a problem that arises increasingly often these days; the advice of the Justices Clerks' Society and others is that courts should disqualify in the absence of the defendant as a matter of course. I have never agreed with this, because a defendant can always claim that he has not received the notice and there is no proof either way. If he has to stand in court and have his disqualification clearly explained by the likes of me, while the clerk records the matter, there can be no doubt. In addition, the disqualification immediately invalidates any insurance, thus probably prejudicing innocent third parties. If matey won't come to court we can simply issue a warrant for his arrest. I suspect that the new system is driven by saving money, but to me it looks like a false economy.