When is a judge biased?

Family|Family Law|October 16th 2014

I suspect that, as the numbers of litigants in person steadily increase, claims that family law judges are biased are also likely to rise substantially.

Saying that is not to criticise litigants in person – I just think that it is naturally more likely that a party will genuinely believe that the judge dealing with their case is biased against them if that party does not have the ‘protection’ and guidance of a legal representative. Certainly, my experience of alleged judicial bias is that almost every allegation I have encountered has come from a litigant in person.

I also suspect that the vast majority of allegations of judicial bias are without foundation, at least in the area of family law. Family law disputes can be so emotive, especially where children are involved, that it is all too easy for a party, particularly an unrepresented party, to blame judicial decisions that go against them on a biased judge. Indeed, there are many who believe that all judges (or even all lawyers) are intrinsically biased. For example some of those in the fathers’ rights community believe that all judges are biased in favour of mothers – an erroneous argument that I have come across on many occasions over the years.

What, then, is involved in claiming judicial bias? Well, bias can be actual, or just apparent. If the judge is actually biased against one of the parties then the solution is simple: the judge should not try the case. If, on the other hand, there is an appearance of bias, it is not quite so straightforward. The basic rule regarding apparent bias was laid down by Lord Hope of Craighead in the House of Lords case Porter v Magill in 2001. Essentially, the question is whether a fair-minded and informed observer, having considered the facts, would conclude that there was a real possibility that the judge was biased.

There are, I suppose, two types of bias. Firstly, there is bias that results from something that happened or existed before the case took place. Examples of this might be that the judge was related to one of the parties, that they had previously acted as a lawyer for one of the parties or that they had connections with some organisation that might favour one of the parties. This type of bias is, I think, less likely in family cases.

And then there is bias that arises during the course of the proceedings. This is the situation where, because of decisions made or things said earlier in the case, the judge appears to have pre-judged an issue. I think this kind of bias, particularly in the form of apparent bias, may be more common in family law cases, where judges typically have to make rulings on a number of points. Where earlier rulings have gone against a party, it is all too easy for that party to assume that the judge has formed a biased opinion against them and that therefore future rulings will also go against them, irrespective of the merits of the case.

An example of the latter kind of bias occurred in the recent case Re K. The case related to the return of a child to this country from Singapore, where he was being cared for by the paternal grandparents. The judge ordered the father to return the child. Further, if the paternal grandparents refused to cooperate, the judge expected the father to make an application to the Singaporean court to ensure that the child was returned, failing which, she said, he would be likely to be imprisoned for a lengthy term. The father did not comply and a committal hearing took place, at which the judge sentenced him to eighteen months imprisonment for breaching her orders.

The father had asked the judge to recuse herself from the committal hearing on the grounds of actual or apparent bias against him, in the light of her earlier comment about him being imprisoned for a lengthy term. The judge had refused to recuse herself, but when the father appealed the Court of Appeal ruled in his favour on the basis that there was an appearance of bias or pre-judgment. Lord Justice Kitchen stated that the judge’s reasons for not recusing herself were insufficient to satisfy a fair-minded observer that, despite the comment she had earlier made, she had not already decided that the father was in deliberate breach of her orders and should be sentenced to a substantial period of imprisonment.

Re K is, however, the exception rather than the rule when it comes to judicial bias. The vast majority of allegations are without foundation and, certainly, I would advise any litigant to consider matters very carefully (preferably taking legal advice) before making any allegations.

Photo by John Halbrook  via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

Author: Stowe Family Law

Share This Post...

Comments(31)

  1. paul apreda says:

    Well John I have to admire your tenacity with this theme you’re pushing and the excellent way that you ignore the arguments I put to you as well as the evidence (or lack of it) for the position you advocate. Anyway, let me share with you the comments of HHJ Furness at a seminar on Parental Alienation in 2013. ‘Families Need Fathers had the temerity to suggest that Judges in the Family Court were biased against fathers – and of course they are right’. Now we both know you’ll reject this so the real reason for my post is just to ask you very politely and respectfully that when you engage in criticism of the ‘customers’ in your industry please at least try to use some objective evidence in your comments. Thanks, Paul

  2. Albert says:

    You state that fathers’ belief that judges are biased against them is an erroneous argument but do not back up your assertion at all. Worse, you are clearly wrong. There is overwhelming bias against fathers in the courtroom, just look at the way custody is awarded in the gross majority of cases – to the mother. It is disappointing that you overlook something that obvious. Shame on you.

    • Paul Apreda says:

      Albert – i promise you that there’ll be no response to your comments. It may be entirely true that Judges are not as a group biased against fathers. Many will have personal experience that points to the contrary but at this point the ‘evidence’ is purely anecdotal. Systematic bias will be difficult to ‘prove’. The fundamental problem however is that there is a perception by fathers that the Court is biased. If we had a Court ‘service’ that was responsive to its users they would wish to tackle this perception – in the way that for example Tesco might if public opinion thought they were over-priced. However, John’s comments belie the fact that the legal profession believe that the ‘litigants’ are a necessary evil in the process and if only they could be controlled more successfully then everything would return to that nice state of affairs before Legal Aid was removed when judges, barristers and solicitors could spend a pleasant afternoon sorting out the problems of others before de-camping to the club. Let me leave you with the words of David Norgrove who of course is NOT a judge but is the chair of the Family Justice Board so all in all quite influential at a strategic level. At the Family Justice Network for Wales stakeholder event held in Merthyr Tydfil in 2013 he said ‘Let’s cut to the heart of the matter – fathers being involved after divorce or separation simply doesnt work. We’ve looked at this is detail – with the experiences of other countries and I’m telling you it just doesnt work.’ Clearly no bias there.

  3. Stitchedup says:

    “my experience of alleged judicial bias is that almost every allegation I have encountered has come from a litigant in person.”

    Well John, I can assure there are plenty of legal professionals and social workers who will tell you off the record that the system is biased against men as a whole not just fathers. There’s an abundance of evidence to support this; I and others on this forum have posted numerous links to such evidence of bias, and it applies to criminal law as well as family law. What I find most fascinating about legal professionals like yourself is that it appears their first and foremost priority is to defend the system and law as is, rather being objective and looking for ways to have a better and fair legal system. Judges, Magistrates, the DPP/CPS, the Ministry of Justice and indeed certain law lords have allowed themselves to be influenced by misandric feminist political correctness. Indeed they have been caught out on more than one occasion when their underlying anti-male policies/attitudes have found their way into policy documents and even articles promoting the concept of feminist judgements!!

    My sister is a senior social worker and told me in no uncertain terms that decisions have an uncanny tendency of going against the man/father and that I was a prime candidate for being shafted purely because of my physique!!

  4. Nordic says:

    If you compare outcomes for fathers in Nordics with outcomes in this jurisdiction then only two conclusions are possible. Either English men are much less able fathers than their Nordic counterparts OR English courts are clearly biased compared to their Nordic counterparts. As an example I have previously quoted a danish survey of actual judgements which found that in close to 40% of cases, residency was awarded to the father. This compares to something like 5% or less here. In another survey of contact, only around 2% of non-resident parents lost contact with their children post divorce. The corresponding figures often quoted for this jurisdiction are between 20% and 40%.
    .
    These figures are not anecdotal at least as far as the Danish numbers are concerned (in contrast to here court outcomes are monitored and reported). I have several times challenged John to respond to these figures (and provided sources) which could stimulate some real debate and analysis but alas, so far I have not had an answer.
    .
    Which brings me to why industry representatives, such as John, seem incapable of any introspection or recognition of fault in what so obviously is a totally broken system. I think the answer in the main is money. Uncertainty, unfairness and inequality generates far more fees than certainty and fairness. If mum and dad can be kept fighting, fees will keep flowing. That is why we do not have a legally binding regime for asset division which would allow couples to know what they commit to when marrying and know it will be upheld should they divorce. That is why we allow the horrible concept of joint lives to persist rather than making such payments transitional and term limited on the basis that both parties are adults (regardless of gender). That is why we have no meaningful presumption safeguarding a child’s right to direct contact with both parents.
    .
    I do not, however, believe that the bias in the family courts somehow reflects rampant feminism as suggested by Stitchedup. The Nordics have taken gender equality much further than here, yet have far more considerate and gender neutral approach to family law. On the contrary, I think these two facts are related. In my view, the answer is more likely to be found in the makeup of the key policy-makers, which in this jurisdiction is not parliament but the senior judicial. In the main these judges remain (1) men, (2) from highly privileged backgrounds and (3) pretty old by the time they reach the appellate courts. If you were raised up by nannies and home-making mums in the 1950s, is it so surprising if you consider the female gender superior when it comes to bringing up kids? If your own dad had little practical involvement and packed you of to boarding school from an early age, how can you possibly understand a modern man’s desire to be a real part of his children’s life? If you belong in the upper echelons of society, how can you appreciate the pressures on normal middle and working class families?

    • Stitchedup says:

      Nordic, if feminism was about gender EQUALITY I wouldn’t be making the argument. What we have in the UK is a form of feminism whose main purpose is to demonize the male gender. A form of feminism that portrays divorcing/separating men/fathers as violent, abusive, potential murderers. A form of feminism that wants to remove all burden of proof for allegations of domestic abuse and any right to cross examine the complainant. I could go on an on, but I’ll just say this; I am all in favour of gender equality, and I suspect in the Nordics you have more gender equality which is why judgements in the Nordic region appear more fair to fathers.

      I agree with your other points regarding the demographics and background of judges in the UK. I’m sure many of these old school judges from privileged backgrounds are only too willing to view mere mortals such as myself, to be from a caste where most men practice domestic abuse on a frequent basis and as such are not fit fathers, husbands or partners. They are completely wrong.

      • Nordic says:

        Stitchedup. I do not dispute that there are forms of feminism that seek demonise the male gender. They are certainly also present in the Nordics as are the issues you raise around false DV and child abuse accusations. One key difference, however, is that such accusations are investigated by police and hence subject to a criminal burden of proof standard. The Nordics do not have Family courts, only civil and criminal courts and the burden of proof requirement have not been eroded to the extent they have in the family courts here.
        .
        Nonetheless, I still don’t think feminism, even in its more extreme forms, is a root cause of the gender bias exhibited within our family courts. All forms of feminism seeks to empower women and that most certainly also includes those that seek dominance rather than equality. The family court stereotypical portrayal of mothers and fathers as home makers and bread winners, respectively, are completely in opposition to feminist role models. The more needy and incapable mum can be made to appear, the more money she is likely to obtain. In fact, so incapable is the female gender that the family courts routinely will disregard her signature on a pre-nuptial (because as a female, she cannot be assumed to think straight whilst in the throes of love pre marriage).
        .
        This is not feminism, this is gender roles aka the 1950s which over-glorifies the mother role and actively encourages women to maintain a relationship of dependency to their spouses and, post divorce, former spouses. Any half decent feminist would surely revolt at the thought as ought any modern self-supporting woman.

  5. George Statingfield says:

    Dear Mr Bolch,

    Lord Justice Munby and Lord Justice Ward are two judges who have said the system is unhelpful towards fathers and pro mothers, there are plenty of other judges who acknowledge this.

    For many years before the rise in LIPs very recently, the accusations of bias were rife. This clearly has nothing whatsoever to do with the rise in LIPs but is a longstanding problem.

    Straight talking lawyers like Marilyn Stowe in the past have acknowledged the issues that fathers face in the family courts, well before this rise in LIPs.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2004/apr/02/childrensservices.uknews

    Lord Justice Munby – 2004

    Judge backs angry fathers over contact with children – Call for sweeping changes to family justice system after ‘shameful’ court failures
    A high court judge yesterday launched an extraordinary attack on the family justice system for failing separated fathers and their children.

    Mr Justice Munby, a respected judge of the Family Division, said he was going public with a judgment following a private hearing, while keeping the parties anonymous, because judges needed to “face up honestly” to the failings of the system so as not to forfeit public confidence.

    He called for sweeping changes to the system after a father had to abandon his five-year battle for contact with his seven-year-old daughter following 43 court hearings in front of 16 judges. The “wholly deserving father”, who last saw his daughter in December 2001, had left court “in tears, having been driven to abandon his battle for contact”.

    The delays in the case were scandalous, added the judge, who said he felt desperately sorry for the father, whose case was “far from unique”.

    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article3850658.ece

    Lord Justice Ward – 2008

    Vengeful mothers leave good fathers powerless to see child, says judge

    A senior judge spoke out against child access law yesterday, saying that the courts were powerless to help decent fathers to see their children if vengeful mothers stood in the way.
    “The father complains bitterly, passionately and with every justification that the law is sterile, impotent and utterly useless – we have to acknowledge there is a degree of force in what he says,” the judge told the Court of Appeal Civil Division.

    “But the question is what can this court do? The answer is nothing. This is a truly distressing case. It may not be untypical of many, but in some ways it borders on the scandalous. It certainly is tragic.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/relationships/divorce/6575997/Third-of-family-break-up-children-lose-contact-with-fathers-in-failing-court-system-poll.html

    Lawyers said the study showed that the court system itself was making family break-up more acrimonious with children used as “pawns”….

    Opposition politicians said the poll presented an alarming picture of a system “in a mess” which was all too often leaving fathers “shut out”.

  6. William Ganness says:

    I believe there are some important issues here that involve limitations of the law where it pertains to bias. Bias in science is a very real problem with solutions to mitigate the errors. I doubt the english law has developed such mechanisms. For example if you think that someone has good reason to be biased you not only have to show it you have to prove it. In science if you think there will be bias you only have to consider and correct for it. This kind of bias presumes that judges are unbiased, and you can only claim they are if they slip – in other words they make a silly error. This is not only unscientific but will necessarily lead to a lot of bias. Take for example the claim of fathers not wining custody when they apply for it – this fact if established is bias necessarily, to what extent it could be calculated. Also its quite evident that both men and women have naturally biased towards favoring women – this has been proven many times in science and psychology called “Women are Wonderful” fallacy. We can go into depth about whey this is, but its a fact that men are from the outset viewed very negatively when it comes to parenting. Scientifically its the court would have to ensure that there is no bias with Judges – what have they done to ensure they mitigate or correct this bias that clearly exists in society. I can carry on a long discussion about why both men and women view other women favorably as individuals purely from a sexual animal point of view and i can also show why society views mothers better candidates for custodial parents although the science is heavily against mothers (the introduction of an unrelated male in a child’s life, single motherhood and its risk, violence and harm coming to the children etc). These can be identified. Yet i have never see any system to deal with this systematic bias that is inherent. We can also show that the Judiciary and courts in general are much more lenient with mothers and women when they cross the line, this can also be proven. So the ball is in your court – bias is there, what is the court doing about it other than hide behind the unscientific idea that i must show that a judge is stupid enough to mis speak and then prove bias. Quite ironically most judges are intelligent enough to hide their bias and the example above does not appear to be bias in the true sense.

  7. Paul Rudkin says:

    I don’t believe judges pursay are biased against fathers…I believe Male judges are biased against fathers in my experience.

  8. Sally Reason says:

    The Judges in the family Court are biased against families in favour of the Local Authority. They have in the past just rubber stamped things and they think they can keep doing so. If you are a litigant i person they can do things like refused to serve the documents and such like an a complaint to the Judge is not likely to resolve things as they will just tell you to get a Solicitor but solicitors do not explain things properly to their clients a and they often take actions that a client would never agree to if they understood what was going on. (like agreeing thresholds). It is not just the judge who is biased but the entire procedure which assumes guilt and makes parents prove their innocence against Court paid “independent experts” which are not independent at all and often not very expert either. The expert decides what might happen in the future based on the case the social worker says happens now but no one has proven anything has happened or ever will. It is a total farce and I know because I speak from experience and the fact that even the president of the Family Court has told the family courts to stop behaving badly but too much power in on persons hands is never a good idea.

  9. JamesB says:

    I agree with Paul. I would also add that they don’t much like littigants in person either.

    I do remember, shortly before he was retired, Ken Clarke as justice secretary saying how fair the family courts were, evidenced by 9 out of 10 contacts not going to a contested final hearing. A load of balls that, just like John’s article here. That people don’t bang their head against a brick wall doesn’t mean that it is not made of brick.

    I will make one example, I sued solicitor for money (and won), strangely enough they were desperate to settle out of court so that the local court didn’t get to see their bad practices. Same with Lawyers – OGF COURSE THEY AREN’T GOING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT THE JUDGES WHEN THEY ARE UP BEFORE THEM AGAIN TOMORROW AND THE REST OF THEIR CAREERS, YOU ARE A FOOL JOHN.

  10. JamesB says:

    On second thoughts, not just the male Judges, I got a well dodgy ruling from a female Judge also. The details are she just listened to the Lawyers and not a LIP. I was asking for contact with my children to go on holiday and she said that’s not what the hearing was about, despite it was about contact. These places are biased against fathers and Litigants In Peron and bad places.

  11. JamesB says:

    Very bad places. They do a difficult job very badly.

  12. lamar says:

    Realistically without saying much, truly people cannot just start saying something out of the blue without a hint of it’s existence. For example if one says I can see fire surely one should also expect a smoke but can you imagine if someone with power tries so hard to convince you that there is no smoke with that fire..? Which is what John Bolch is trying to say here. If there was an equal balance with the judgement by the family court judges (i.e. 50 – 50 ) why would people complain? My answer is there would be no reason for people to say the Family Judges are bias, people would instead adore and praise the family law system in this country and be proud of it. A good example is when you visit countries where such kind of Judges don’t exist you will see that in those countries families are still intact and have not been torn apart by such kind of family Judges in this country for the sake of revenue. cover up.

  13. R says:

    I have been going through out courts for my little boy who is nearly 7 and got SEND. My ex partner have no contribution towards the any upbringing apart from paying csa 100. He never pay his way towards being there for our son just criticism. Court proceedings have started for 2nd time he submitted application for residency order to be changed and that I am uncapable looking after him false accusations from him and his family. I am a single mother I’m not English national my English ain’t brilliant, but majority people can understand me and certainly lay magistrates panels did when I haven’t got the clue at that time about anything in family law related to children act 1989. As proceedings were ongoing one of the judges at the thirty hearing have said .. “we haven’t got enough time to make a such a crucial decision based on so much evidence provided by mother n unable to see if the father has any involvement!” The honour has postpone the case and suggestion n decision was, because of first order been issued by district judge she’ll we leave the matter and the decision to district judge for full day hearing. I was ligitant in person through out proceedings father had representation privately paid for advocate and solicitor through out the until decision were made.
    As I mentioned my son got special needs disability it effect him in ability in learning also at some areas he delay with his gross motor skills. I manage to pull through out residency working in my favour but under monitoring order for 12months by cafcass: order were for me to attend English classes as main of the priority, spip parenting.. engage with support from school that wasn’t available and I use to get the blame for it. School use to harass me and my son they discriminated his needs until the stage come to examine my son for MRI BRAIN SCANS, blood checks genetically n x ray’s physiotherapy which they found muscle stop growing but that didn’t botherd them my son had to walk 0.8miles distance to school under such a pressure that he start having panic attacks, constant questioning from dnt until I reported them to local mp. But was to late school were provided cafcass information that was completely lies. When I have returned to a final hearing with the letter submitted from cafcass n final statement that I had to pay privately of 900 pounds at the hearing judge was very furious and unfair. At this time we both were in ligitant with cpu from courts. Judge never made us aware of mckenzie friend or any other help. Al she said is that I don’t deserve my child I’m chaotic, proactive lazy mother that don’t prioritise my sons educational needs, that I am a little girl who needs to get off her backside and work as she disregarded my sons disability & said I got the issue not my son and for not attending English classes she grand my ex partner residency and finalise the order by specifically issue the specific order for me to hand over my sons passport too. Removal of a child she dated on weekend without any social worker or cafcass and when we receive order in post 1st July she write fr respondent to give father passport 24th June. I have applied for appeal but I needed transcript which I apply ex105 for public funding ex107 until now I haven’t heard from them nothing also I put in application about judge bias and unfair. My ex partners wife has abused my son physically n sexualy. Reported to nspcc n they told me nt to give him on 6th aug as safeguarding until following. investigation from local authority. Police provide me with crime no. N told me same if anything do nt give child to father .. well however police turn up at my home and remove my son without any documents or social services that evening very unprofessional telling me they takin him to fathers home were abuser was but no father at present. Since thn I haven’t seen my son fr two months indirect contact only happen 2 times father and his wife breech fully court order council my sons medical important appointments and submitted 4th application in place and is gonna be same judge… could please someone help me to get access to legal aid or something as emotionally I am drained and worried because if I go by my nawlage they will lie and take my baby fully without any access for me to see him

    • Paul Apreda says:

      I’m so sorry to hear of your difficulties. Firstly in terms of access to Legal Aid may i point you to our website here? https://www.fnf-bpm.org.uk/article/legal_aid-253/index.html
      On a wider point I think this case illistrates precisely why the Family Justice system is NOT the place to resolve these issues

    • JamesB says:

      I am sorry for your loss. I am sorry for the Judges insulting also, they can think themselves God. I am not saying that I don’t believe you, however, I advise you that until such a time as abuse can be proven, if you want direct contact with your son, then, unfortunately, you should be positive, or at least not negative to your son, about your ex’s new wife/partner.

      • JamesB says:

        The point is that indirect contact has been ordered as lawyers argued it’s in son’s best interests. You have no rights under the law. Only arguments which are made that will make things better for your son / in sons best interests stand a chance of succeeding. I suggest seeing his mother as a loving capable person may be the best one. Perhaps I shouldn’t comment, but I know how hard it is to not see your children and felt compelled to try and help. I do think you need a lawyer, even a cheap one, try the Citizens Advice Bureau first then Fnf if no luck there. Legal aid is history, government don’t want to pay anymore unless any family abuse proven in court with conviction.

        • JamesB says:

          Local Citizens Advice Bureau can be found from this webpage. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk

        • JamesB says:

          The point is that indirect contact has been ordered as lawyers argued it’s in son’s best interests and the judge ruled that in absense of better alternative, put a better alternative together with or without lawyers, suggest with and he or she should rule in favour of it. I suggest most parents should be able to get some amount of direct contact if they play the game as they are supposed to (as a Judge would see it).

  14. M says:

    This all has been an interesting read but I am none the wiser! I am the mother to an 8 year old and my husband only to ruin my son’s and my school summer holidays lied to the Court and enforced a Prohibited Steps Order against I. He has a strong record of being arrested for domestic abuse and violence in 2015 since when he became revengeful and had threatened me then of the consequences of me having sent him to the Police. The Judge in the first hearing was biased despite his history and treated me with hostility protecting him and answering on his behalf and then another Judge in the next hearing suspected foul play on his part but in the next hearing despite my longwinded personal statement the same Judge refused to give me a chance and blatantly covered up for him at all times. He has never taken any responsibility for our son and didn’t even want a child as his family wanted him to adopt his then divorcing sister’s child to be saddled upon us. I feel bereft, bewildered and heartbroken as a mother!!

  15. John Brick says:

    Judges bias can arise due to hidden affiliations. such as the Freemasons – see my blog website a [link removed]

    There is no place for ‘secret-associations’ in an alleged open and transparent judicial process.

    Join in to stop this happening..

    • Cameron Paterson says:

      Hello – we’ve had to remove the link to your site because it makes claims about a named individual that we cannot verify

      • John Brick says:

        I think the link only refers to the Home Secretary Amber Rudd. Is it now not permissible to refer to members of the UK Government by name?

        • Cameron Paterson says:

          It refers to another politician as well. We don’t permit unverifiable allegations about named individuals on this site, for obvious legal reasons – and links to such claims could be interpreted as endorsements

          • John Brick says:

            Understood. Its a fair point. Forgot JS was named.

            It is, however, factually correct, if colloquially expressed.

            I realise there are limitations and legal liabilities.

            Thank-you for letting me know – no offence taken..

    • Andrew says:

      Judges have the same right to freedom of association as anybody else. A judge who knows one of the litigants or witnesses personally – as a Mason or otherwise – must of course say so as soon as s/he knows of it. Otherwise the matter is irrelevant.

      • John Brick says:

        And you think they do that, do you?

        I can only conclude that you are either exceptionally naïve; believe that I, and others, are stupid; or that you are a mason yourself. (Of the 3, I would hope that you just haven’t experienced the real world).

  16. DB says:

    i a i a daily court and quite easily can evidence bias and procedural irregularities with the guildford three as i refer to them in fact it is blatantly obvious my husband has obtained an absolute and remarried on the basis that these three judges seemingly assisted him as he is very wealthy and influential and i said at the start they know him and he has threatened bribery to me and bias slowly it has got worse our divorce papers absolutely every one of them went to this judge for tidying up and then they all went missing and i mean all of them its a joke no enquiry nothing just two years and they are all lost

  17. Squawkparrot says:

    When the police introduced body cameras there was a drop in complaints against the police. Probably for two reasons. The alleged victim behaved himself, knowing his behaviour was on camera and he could not therefore make up a complaint. And, the policeman, knowing it was all being filmed, behaved himself.

    There could be a similar dynamic in the case of litigant in person feeling they have been treated with bias. It could be that the judge is more likely to behave himself if he is in the company of a couple of barristers, and is less likely to behave if not.

    Furthermore, the judge and the barrister are essentially cut from the same cloth, they are ‘brothers’.

    The barrister has a duty to the court not to lie. The gives him an advantage. The judge is more likely to believe him, even if his client has lied through his teeth.

    They also speak the same language so the judge is more likely to be listening to the barrister more than the LIP.

    And, the barrister and the judge will likely know each other to some degree.

    Real bias can creep in.

    And, both barristers and judges have a duty to protect the administration of justice. That means that there is a code not to tell on each other, because of something like a judge being bias. It’s like the police closing ranks. Indeed, Lord Denning admitted such when he said, paraphrasing, the the whole justice system will come crashing down if the courts were to question the integrity of the police in the Birmingham 6 case. Indeed, better than the innocent hang than the administration of justice be brought into disrepute.

Leave a Reply

Close

Newsletter Sign Up

For all the latest news from Stowe Family law
please sign up for instant access today.



Privacy Policy