17 July 2009

Judges and penal policy

QUESTION: If the Minister of Justice and government think that judges' singular role is to apply the law enacted by Parliament and they should not contribute to the debate on appropriate penal policy and the criminal justice system, why then did the government invite 6 judges (Judge Becroft, Judge Bidois, Judge Carruthers, Judge Clark, Judge Johnson, Judge Rota) to participate in the government's "Drivers of Crime" ministerial summit? > MinJust "Drivers of Crime: Ministerial Meeting"

1 comment:

Chris Diack said...

What a terribly helpful document that is.

There is a big difference between judges participating in this process and giving political speeches.

Besides the pols and the invited expert guest the document does not quote any of the participants.

My pick is that document will go nowhere – what a mishmash. What new rule can come out of this – what new programme?

Course Outline

Lord Justice Lawton in Maxwell v Department of Trade and Industry [1974] 2 All ER 122 said:

"From time to time ... lawyers and judges have tried to define what constitutes fairness. Like defining an elephant, it is not easy to do, although fairness in practice has the elephantine quality of being easy to recognise. As a result of these efforts a word in common usage has acquired the trappings of legalism: 'acting fairly' has become 'acting in accordance with the rules of natural justice', and on occasion has been dressed up with Latin tags. This phrase in my opinion serves no useful purpose and in recent years it has encouraged lawyers to try to put those who hold inquiries into legal straitjackets.... For the purposes of my judgment I intend to ask myself this simple question: did the [decision-maker] act fairly towards the plaintiff?"


This course examines the elephantine concept of fairness in the law, along with other contemporary legal issues.

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