Judges

Book review: Mr Justice McCardie (1869-1933) – Rebel, Reformer, and Rogue Judge

Antony Lentin’s life of Henry Alfred McCardie, published in the centenary year of his appointment to the High Court Bench, offers a fascinating portrait of a judicial figure whose reforming judgments have stood the test of time rather better than some of the public pronouncements that brought him fame and notoriety in his own day.  Review by Paul Magrath

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Book review: The Modern Judge by Sir Mark Hedley

Based on a series of public lectures given in 2015, this little gem of a book on the modern art of judging should be required reading for anyone seriously interested in law and the judicial system. As a former High Court and before that circuit judge, Sir Mark Hedley brings to his reflections a vast experience of criminal, civil and especially family cases. His observations on his role as a judge are timely and illuminating. Review by Paul …

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Justice down the rabbit-hole: Fulford LJ on the Rise of the Cyber Judge

With the creation of the online court, the principle of open justice must not be overlooked, said Lord Justice Fulford, giving the annual University of Sussex Draper Lecture 2016 at the Law Society on Tuesday, 8 November. Justice, he said, must not “disappear down an Alice-style rabbit-hole”. But it soon became clear to many in the audience that the question of public scrutiny and reporting of the online courts was very much an afterthought.

Paul Magrath …

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Diversity and Community Relations Judges

Judges

In this post we examine the role of DCR or Diversity and Community Relations judges, who reach out to minority and disaffected groups as well as to the wider public to give them a better understanding of the legal process and what happens in court.

Giving the opening address at the Transparency Project’s Child Protection Conference 2016 in Birmingham this week, District Judge Gailey spoke about his voluntary role as a DCR or Diversity and Community Relations judge. …

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Trappists v Spinners: shaping the legal discourse

Trappists v Spinners: shaping the legal discourse

How should judges communicate with the public? Should they, as that exemplary Conservative Lord Chancellor Lord Kilmuir exhorted them back in the 1950s, remain silent and aloof, preserving their mystique (and that of the law), or should they “descend into the arena” and take up arms with the media on their own turf, seeking to “spin” the law in their own favour and to their own agenda?

This is not a new problem, obviously, otherwise Lord Kilmuir would never have …

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Speaking extra-judicially

Points of Law

On the benefits of foreign law and the dangers of expert evidence

By Paul Magrath, Head of Product Development and Online Content, ICLR

 

As a green young pupil at chambers tea, it was impressed upon me (and I have often heard it repeated since) that English law is law Foreign law is fact Expert evidence is merely opinion.

Well, that may not be the whole story, but it seems quite a useful starting point to discuss two speeches among …

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Judicial conduct: benchmarks for good and bad behaviour

Judges by David Pannick

The news that a judge has held himself to be in contempt of court – and fined himself – has yet again brought to public attention the issue of judicial conduct. The incident occurred in America, where there are plenty of examples of judicial eccentricity, to put it mildly; but that great nation is by no means unique in harbouring judges whose behaviour challenges normal tolerance of what might be considered proper behaviour from the Bench.

There are plenty …

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LORD BINGHAM: a great judge, a great man and a great friend to the Law Reports

LORD BINGHAM: a great judge, a great man and a great friend to the Law Reports

It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of Lord Bingham of Cornhill, who died on 11 September. He was a great judge, with a formidable legal mind but with none of the arrogance, impatience or hauteur that sometimes afflicts those occupying judicial office. In fact he was a warm, witty and wise man, who strove without fear or favour to uphold the highest traditions of legal integrity and judicial independence.

As a public figure, he has …

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