find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Crikey! Plan to scrutinise judges

Crikey! Plan to scrutinise judges

A PROPOSAL has been made to set up a website allowing people to publicly critique the performance of judges. The idea was put forward on the independent news website Crikey last week by…

A PROPOSAL has been made to set up a website allowing people to publicly critique the performance of judges.

The idea was put forward on the independent news website Crikey last week by political commentator Greg Barns, who is advocating the establishment of a site similar to one already operating in the US called the Robing Room.

The Robing Room allows people to rate US judges according to a series of criteria such as temperament; scholarship; industriousness; ability to handle complex litigation; punctuality; and even-handedness in civil and criminal litigation. The site lists the top 10 and bottom 10 judges as ranked by users of the site, and allows people to post comments on the judges.

Barns said on the website: “Judges, magistrates and other judicial officers should welcome feedback. They complain loudly and often that their job makes them remote from everyday life, and many of them have little or no idea of what those who appear before them think about their performance.”

This was a rationale he emphasised when contacted by Lawyers Weekly.

“Judges aren’t only there to uphold the law but they are also providing a service to the community. I’ve got no doubt some judges would think this was a good idea. I think it’s important that people are able to see how judges are rated.

“It’s not a popularity contest, but about their ability to deliver judgments expeditiously, their capacity to be fair to all parties, their temperament in court, and the way in which they treat litigants in person,” he said.

He said there was currently an informal process where lawyers talk to each other everyday about judges and what to do in front of a particular judge. “What I’m talking about is formalising that process so that you can have some serious peer review,” he said.

The Judicial Commission of NSW declined to comment on the proposal, and the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration’s executive director Greg Reinhardt would comment only to say:

“The only mechanism that is in place in the country at this time is the complaints mechanism at the Judicial Commission of NSW. That is the only mechanism at the present time.”

Barns hopes the proposal will generate enough interest to get it up and running.

“I’d urge people to look at the US concept because in some respects the US legal system is further advanced than ours in terms of being more transparent and I think that’s one example.

“It’s not about ‘let’s have a website for gossip on judges’. It’s actually a serious exercise to get an insight into how judges perform. Just about every other occupation gets rated in some way, why should judges be excluded,” he said.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Crikey! Plan to scrutinise judges
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...