14 August 2007

Dumbing down among the judiciary?

Mediocracy likes to promote resentful belligerence towards other individuals as a form of self-assertion. Manners and self-restraint are examples of bourgeois fetishism and hence to be rejected.
(Mediocracy, p.35.)

What has happened to Not Saussure? This sober, reflective gentleman last blogged on Monday 18 June, when he wrote that he would be

back shortly ... probably on Tuesday or Wednesday; it is, people will be relieved to know, real life rather than Second Life that is demanding my attention at the moment, though personally I’d much rather the problems to which I have presently to attend were in a virtual rather than the real world.
I do hope he has not been kidnapped by virtual terrorists. We could do with his inside legal insight on the story of Hon. Mr. Justice Peter Smith, who seems a queer fish indeed, even by the standards of the British judiciary.

Last year, the learned judge became famous in the plagiarism suit against Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown, by inserting his own Code into the judgement — just for fun.
I hate crosswords, and do not do Sudoku as I do not have the patience
he explained in a statement. Very understandable; I'm sure life on the bench can be frightfully tedious at times.

Now it appears Sir Peter is in trouble again, for refusing to stand down as appointed judge on a case where there was a pretty clear conflict of interest, and for sounding stroppy about it to boot.

A partner in the law firm Addleshaw Goddard was recently up before the learned judge. This happened a few months after negotiations for Sir Peter to be hired by AG broke down, apparently because the firm thought his asking price of £750,000 pa was on the high side. When asked to step aside, Smith refused with some vigour and, when it was suggested his language had been intemperate, replied "It is about time you grew up. If you think that's intemperate, then you are on another planet from me."

I wonder whether what I call 'aggressification' — crude belligerence passed off as assertiveness — has started creeping into the legal profession ...


Surreptitious Evil said...

You might always ask Bystander.

Graf von Straf Hindenburg said...

Or me. He's alive but has issues currently.