What hope for justice with out of touch judges ?

Radio Five Live reported earlier on their Drive show that a judge called Peter Openshaw had to halt proceedings in a case he is presiding over involving using the internet to incite terrorism because he did not understand the words being used. In particular, the words he was having a problem with was "web page" and "website", according to Five Live.

Isn't it absolutely astonishing that a judge put in charge of a case in which the internet is central to the alleged crime does not know what the internet actually is ?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You know what they say about the media! Here is a (very reasonable, if I may say) response from the JCO:

"...comment has been taken out of context - implying that Mr Justice Openshaw, in the course of proceedings, did not understand the term ‘website’.

In fact the Judge is currently in the fifth week of presiding over a trial which is largely based on computer generated evidence. Evidence is being provided by expert witnesses that will inevitably be of a specialist nature.

Trial judges always seek to ensure that everyone in court is able to follow all of the proceedings. They will regularly ask questions – not for their own benefit – but on behalf of all those following a case, in the interests of justice.

In this specific case, immediately prior to the judge’s comment, the prosecution counsel had referred to various internet forums with postings of comments relevant to the case. Mr Justice Openshaw was simply clarifying the evidence presented, in an easily understandable form for all those in court.

Mr Justice Openshaw is entirely computer literate and indeed has taken notes on his own computer in court for many years..."