• November 28, 2023
 Lord chief justice tells lawyers not to stand for rude judges

Lord chief justice tells lawyers not to stand for rude judges

The lord chief justice has reminded lawyers to raise complaints if they feel a judge was rude, and to do this sooner rather than later.

Lord Burnett of Maldon was asked at the Bar Council’s conference what should a barrister should do if they believe a judge has behaved inappropriately, to which the lord chief justice responded:

“Tolerance for rudeness has just become less over the years. And the approach you and I experienced when we started at the bar, with a shrug of the shoulders and moving on, is no longer appropriate.”

He also advised that the situation could be dealt with in a number of ways. He added:

“If it is a one-off thing, most people would want to deal with it informally. If that’s what they wanted to do, there are many ways of raising it informally. Within the judiciary itself there is a grievance procedure which also involves staff, which may be appropriate in some cases. If the person concerned about it feels the behaviour is very, very bad, there is a judicial complaints system.”

Lord Burnett reassured lawyers who do come forward will not be punished and stated:

“It is much better to deal with the problem at an early stage rather than let them grow and fester.”

Lord Burnett announced earlier this month that judges will be given a “statement of behaviour” to make sure judges behave in an appropriate and respectful manner. He continued:

“Training and dissemination of good behaviour, and the need for there to be constant discussion about this, is to try and mitigate it and minimise it.”

Joseph Mullane