contempt of court can be contemptible

Isn’t it about time that Contempt of court  be re-thought. It seems such a blanket term and doesn’t allow for the fact that a court may be contemptible.

This charge is meant to stop people hampering or preventing a fair trial, by disrupting proceedings, intimidating witnesses or by creating a situation that may cause witneeses to distort their evidence.

It is not meant to allow a corrupt, malevolent or stupid judge forcing through an unfair trial.

It seems to be a charge, which favours the rich and powerful, who can buy a judge, are close friends of the judge, or have a say in a judge’s career.

In the UK, we seem to be seeing more and more apparently crazy, illogical and anti-social judgements; the latest in a long, long, long line of such judgements is one that allowed four young Muslim women to walk free from court after mounting a brutal hate attack on another woman, reportedly because she was white.

The stated excuse that they were unused to alcohol was tenuous, at best.

The fact that one was later reported as intending to go out and party seemed to support the fact she had little respect for her victim or the court.

The worst aspect of this judgement was that it promotes the commonly held view that Muslims are being shown favouritism by our courts, which both encourages contempt of our judiciary and provides ammunition for those promoting social divisiveness.

Let’s replace “Contempt of Court” with more appropriately named charges such as “disrupting Court proceedings”, “acting in a manner intended to intimidate a witness” etc. These would be adjudged by the presiding judge but, at least,  he wouldn’t be able to pervert justice by simply gagging those that he doesn’t want heard.


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