Musings and Snippets from a recently retired JP. I served for 31 years, mostly in west London. I was Chairman of my Bench for some years, and a member of the National Bench Chairmen's Forum All cases are based on real ones, but anonymised and composited. All opinions are those of one or more individuals. JPs swear to enforce the law of the land, whether or not they approve of it. Nothing on here constitutes legal advice.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged
Judge not, that ye be judged
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
The news that four judges, of varyingly modest eminence, have been sacked has inevitably elicited a degree of glee in the press.
Let's get one thing straight: none of these guys was a proper judge, any more than I am. (Note to pedants: on the few times a year when I sit beside a Crown Court Judge on appeals, I am, in law, a judge. But not a real one).
My daily paper tells me that most adult men have at some time viewed the pornography that is ubiquitous on the Interweb. That is up to them. The four Dirty Beaks (as the scurrilous press will no doubt dub them) stand convicted of nothing worse than naivety: that their internet trawling was and would remain secret. Using the judicial IT system (to which I have limited and unused access) may have been careless, and certainly was naive.
The point of this post is to say that in the present social and political climate no journalist can resist the lure of bringing down the dignity of a judge.
I have been a Bench Chairman several times over the years, and one of my duties included giving an introductory pep talk to new JPs.
I always pointed out that a silly spat between neighbours that held no interest for the local rag became headline material when it became "JP in Neighbour Row".
I have met and worked with all levels of judges over the years, and I can say without reservation that almost without exception they are impressive hardworking and straight.