While there are plenty of books about Good English Judges: indeed their ‘goodness’ may well have been one of their authors’ main reasons for writing them, there is as yet no book specifically about Bad Judges in this country, though there are quite a few in the United States.Contents after the jump.
No doubt there are a number of reasons for this: the law of libel, within its limits, protects the living, and the old maxim de mortuis nil nisi bonum may protect the dead, at least for a decent interval post mortem.
In recent times there have been fewer Bad Judges than in the past, even though there are now more judges, at every level, than there were fifty years ago. The position today is no doubt the result of our modern, and on the whole very sensible and worthwhile practice, of appointing ‘new’ permanent judges only after they have attended judicial training, have sat as a judge in a part-time, temporary judicial post before appointment, and have performed in that capacity well enough to justify long-term judicial office.
Table of cases
Prologue and apology
1. An Unpopular 19th Century Lord Chancellor
2. Two Extraordinary 19th Century Judges
3. A Very Bad 19th/20th Century High Court Judge
4. A Very Bad 20th Century Chief Justice
5. A Very Bad 20th Century High Court Judge
6. Another Very Bad 20th Century High Court Judge
7. A Very Bad 20th Century Circuit Judge
8. Three More Bad Circuit Judges
List of illustrations