Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.

Comments are usually moderated. However, I do not accept any legal responsibility for the content of any comment. If any comment seems submitted just to advertise a website it will not be published.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016


Long before my occupation of the middle chair I came to the conclusion that legal advisors and lawyers  were often unaware that the language they were speaking was almost unintelligible to the court users to whom it was addressed. When I was authorised to occupy the middle chair I was in a position to remedy these failings.  Lawyers mildly chastised along those lines invariably accepted with good grace and usually a smile that my interruption was merely to speed up the process for all.  Pointers in the other direction whether of substance or style were usually of more substance.  Criticism of a High Court during proceedings is a rare event.  However outside the courtroom it obviously has no legal effect but the ramifications can be explosive.  Mrs Justice Hogg and the Ellie Butler case was an example.  

Another High Court judge of the family division, Mr Justice Holman, made remarks in a recent case that seem to have been largely overlooked. A Saudi father  has kept his  British daughter in a cage for four years at his home in Jeddah.  Whatever the rights and wrongs involved, (a report is available here,) the judge did nothing to enhance the reputation of British jurisprudence when he said, "We have to be careful about asserting the supremacy of our cultural standards."

It is just this levelling down of the basis of our legal and cultural heritage which I find nothing less than nauseating. Taken to its logical conclusion we must assume that in the judge`s mind there is no moral, legal, cultural, historical or religious basis for the way in which we conduct or attempt to conduct our society in what we consider the most satisfactory manner for the benefit of all of us. Mr Justice Holman might be a High Court judge but if these comments are a reflection of his thinking processes the Appointments Committee missed a trick granting him the honour and privilege of occupying that most prestigious of chairs. He has lost his moral compass.


  1. I read what you read and followed his remarks. What I was expecing was a sense of outrage from him coming from such a senior figure on the Family bench. But no. It seems that his only concern was to not offend a Saudi national who, we all know, subscribes to a very different set of cultural principles than we do in UK. Shame on the judge for yet again joining the PC brigade!