626 V O L . 7 5 P A R T 4 J U L Y 2 0 1 7 THE ADVOCATE
All wearers of these magical glasses are afflicted by an unfortunate side
effect which strikes the moment they take them off. It is marked by a fixed
look with eyes wide open, and by rigid body movements which are particular
noticeable when a group of judges walk in lockstep down Hornby
Street for lunch at the Lawyer’s Inn. The medical term which describes this
fixed stare and rigid walk is, of course, STARE DECISIS.
The best thing about the magic glasses is that they enable the judge not
only to see that justice is done but also to see whether justice is being seen
manifestly to be done.
And that brings me to the subject at hand. Traditionally lawyers are mistrusted.
The cry to Kill all the Lawyers always rallies the mob. Now the cry
is to Save the Whales but Kill the Lawyers. Judges are also suspect. Fraternity
between judges and lawyers must be on a restricted basis; injustice is
manifestly seen to be done when a judge dines with any counsel engaged
in the case before him. In numerous ways a judge must maintain certain
appearances and avoid others. While it is quite appropriate for judges to
attend bar association events, social or business, it is inappropriate for
judges to express views there on controversial issues. I do not think it appropriate
for judges to join the benchers on their deliberations because it just
looks too cosy. This goes against my grain, because I am a reformed
bencher—as many judges are. Judges are just benchers with longer teeth.
The fact is that judges take a vow of detachment along with their oath of
fealty. This does not mean they have to be wholly detached, but, like some
English houses, semi-detached. If they are not some litigants will say they
are fraternizing with the enemy or consorting with the devil.
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