Friday, 6 September 2013

Upholding the Rule of Law

The former Lord Chief Justice at the Annual Judges; Mansion House Speech in July before his retirement with some excellent words of warning for HMG:
So we must remain vigilant against the slightest encroachment on judicial independence, not because judicial independence represents some traditional flummery, some bauble, some meaningless superficiality, but because without an independent judiciary the rule of law would collapse.

A more mundane story of protecting the dignity of the judicial process:

Paul, of South Road, Luton was sitting in the public gallery of Luton Crown Court watching a friend’s sentencing for the robbery of an off-duty police officer, when he received a message on his BlackBerry phone from a girl asking where he was.
He thought he would take a snap of the courtroom to send to her, but sitting in front of him were the victim and other police officers involved in the case, who spotted what he had done.
The phone was seized and to his amazement the teen found himself arrested and taken down to the cells.
After his arrest, barrister John Livingston was appointed to represent the teenager.
An hour later he was brought back into the court to hear Mr Livingston say: “He told me he was being ‘a dick’, which I take to mean a stupid idiot.
“It was not a photograph of anyone in particular and he did not notice any signs forbidding this behaviour. This has been a very big shock for him.”
But Judge Mensah told Thompson: “There are notices all around the court building about not taking photographs in court. This is a serious offence and the message must go out that people cannot take
As she jailed him for two months he said: “That’s stupid man.”

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