Lady Scotland: another of Labour’s
dreary equality commissars

The Labour Party is bent on sacrificing the high quality of our Judges on the altar of equality. This should come as no surprise as equality is a fetish with these people, many of whom were card-carrying members of the ‘Loony Left’ in the 1980s and who have now wormed their way into jobs where they have real power to destroy the fabric of British Society.

The latest wheeze in their bid to have the Bench populated only by members of some obscure minority – one-legged Romany gypsy lesbians with youthful convictions for supplying drugs, for example, is a group thoroughly under-represented in the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court these days – is a plot to allow employees (note that word with care) of the Crown Prosecution Service be appointed to the Bench.

As The Times reports both the alarmingly over-promoted Attorney-General Lady Scotland and the Director of Public Prosecutions Sir Ken MacDonald (who knows a thing or two about drug dealing, having been convicted in the 1970s of an offence of supplying cannabis) are wildly in favour of this idea, not on the grounds that it will open up a source of supply of highly qualified candidates for the bench but on the grounds that it would make the judiciary more diverse by widening the pool of women and ethnic minority lawyers who could be judges, regardless of their quality.

There are a number of fundamental objections to this singularly dotty idea.

In the first place the process of becoming a candidate for a full-time appointment to the bench requires that people sit in the Crown and County Court as Recorders for a number of years so that they can gain experience of sitting and demonstrate that they have the sort of qualities that fit them for the Bench. Were employees of the CPS allowed to undertake such public duties whilst they remained employees of the State, their right to sit would immediately be open to challenge under Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights:

In the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law.

The objection to a CPS employee sitting, particularly in a criminal trial, is that they are dependent upon the State for their employment and thus the income to pay the mortgage and the bills and are thus, palpably, not independent within the meaning of the Convention. It is not merely the very fact of their lack of independence that offends: it is the fact that every time he or she gives a ruling which favours the State it will create the impression and give the appearance of a lack of impartiality. Being paid and directly employed by the State is utterly incompatible with the notion of impartiality.

Then there is the problem of interest. A Solicitor who sits as a Recorder cannot sit in a matter in which his firm are acting for one of the litigants or a defendant. For this reason Solicitor recorders are shipped off to another part of the circuit so that this problem does not arise other than rarely. But the CPS is responsible for the overwhelming proportion of all prosecutions in the UK. A CPS employee would thus, if sitting in the Crown Court, be faced with sitting in judgement on cases in which his or her employer has a direct interest in the outcome of almost every case in the list. How could they try any such case without a very obvious appearance of lack of impartiality?

Thirdly they would come singularly ill-equipped to try cases in the Crown Court, never having acted for the defence. When you have spent your career always seeing things from a Prosecution point of view, it tends to blind you to an appreciation of the Defence position. Having known may Crown Prosecutors over the years one can say with some confidence that, to say the least, they lack empathy for the Defence, viewing them by and large as no better than crooks and mountebanks. By adopting this utterly bad idea you would end up with a whole corps of partial judges.

Fourthly there would also be a significant question over the quality of these people. Sadly the CPS tends to be a repository for those who have failed in private practice, though there are some stars about. I would struggle to think of any one of the ones have I ever stumbled upon who I would think of as being able enough to sit in the Crown or County Court.

But the great sacred cow of equality must be kept fed with the methane-producing vegetable matter to which it has become accustomed. But the great experiment of the Judicial Appointments Commission, which Labour thought would not only produce an overall more fair system of judicial appointments but would also deliver more women and persons of ethnic minorities as candidates has proved to be (to the likes of Harriett Harperson) irritatingly meritocratic with the embarrassing result that middle-class male, public school Oxbridge candidates have scooped the pool.

So the Equality Kommissars have gone back to the drawing board and come up with this daft scheme, which will not fly because of Article 6, to appease their clients. Lady Scotland (who was recently fingered by The Times – who were not sued for defamation – for observing, on the topic of forced marriages to a non-white lobbyist at a meeting: “Don’t worry, these white people don’t really understand what we have to go through.”) and erstwhile druggie chum Ken MacDonald have thus hit upon yet another way to drag down the standards of our public services by trying to open up appointments to important public posts. I must remember to get my builder to apply: with the number of marriages he has had, he is a shoe-in for the Family Division.

DPP Sir Ken MacDonald – first, and,
we hope, last person convicted
of supplying cannabis to be head
of the CPS – wants to turn
poachers into gamekeepers

Soon, if these dreary manic egalitarians have their way, we shall all be equally poor, equally stupid, equally unhealthy, equally sexually ambivalent and equally everything else as the next man (or is that woman?), except, of course, for the political elite, who will make damn sure none of this applies to them.