Leaked WADA documents: US Olympic team players were allowed to take banned substances 23:10 Sep 14 0 comments
Muslims who Don't Like Freedom should 'F**k Off': Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb 23:17 Jan 08 8 comments
Uk government internet porn filter adviser up on child porn charges 21:33 Mar 10 3 comments
Tom Gilmartin -Key Planning Tribunal Witness -dies and is buried 22:40 Nov 27 0 commentsmore >>
A bird's eye view of the vineyard
Chick Corea?s ?Spain? and my love for Jazz Wed Apr 25, 2018 05:38 | The Saker
Syrian War Report ? April 24, 2018: US Builds New Base, Prepares For Next Phase Of Conflict Tue Apr 24, 2018 22:29 | Scott
Saker book review: POKÉMON IN UKRAINE ? Tactical War Game Introduction MANUAL Mon Apr 23, 2018 23:51 | The Saker
Moveable Feast Cafe 2018/04/23 ? Open Thread Mon Apr 23, 2018 22:30 | Herb Swanson
Syrian War Report ? April 23, 2018: Militant-Held Pockets Crumbling In Western Syria Mon Apr 23, 2018 21:29 | Scott
Repeal, Abortion and the Common Good: Beyond Foetal Rights? Tue Apr 24, 2018 15:06 | Máiréad Enright
#abortiontravel Cordelia Freeman on ?The Chile-Peru Abortion Trail and the Irish Experience? Thu Apr 19, 2018 14:13 | GuestPost
#abortiontravel Sydney Calkin on ?The Changing Geographies of Abortion Access? Wed Apr 18, 2018 14:08 | GuestPost
#abortiontravel Kath Browne & Catherine Nash on ?Love both?: Naming Heteroactivism? Tue Apr 17, 2018 13:01 | GuestPost
#abortiontravel Katherine Side on ?Medical Abortion Use: Post-Referendum Possibilities? Mon Apr 16, 2018 14:01 | GuestPost
For lefties too stubborn to quit
Independent dazed II? and muttering about an election in the Autumn or Spring 17:15 Wed Apr 25, 2018 | WorldbyStorm
#HomeToVote 17:13 Wed Apr 25, 2018 | WorldbyStorm
New (Varadkar) Dawn Fades 12:06 Wed Apr 25, 2018 | WorldbyStorm
Political preconceptions? 11:06 Wed Apr 25, 2018 | WorldbyStorm
What you want to say ? 25 April 2018 05:09 Wed Apr 25, 2018 | WorldbyStorm
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting
Some Thoughts on the Brexit Joint Report 11:50 Sat Dec 09, 2017
IRISH COMMONWEALTH: TRADE UNIONS AND CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE 21ST CENTURY 14:06 Sat Nov 18, 2017
Notes for a Book on Money and the Irish State - The Marshall Aid Program 15:10 Sat Apr 02, 2016
The Financial Crisis:What Have We Learnt? 19:58 Sat Aug 29, 2015
Money in 35,000 Words or Less 21:34 Sat Aug 22, 2015
Sensation out of court! Circuit Court Judge called to task at Public Talk
Gives "interesting" views on jury system! Problem of unemployed and retired jurors raised.
The talk began at 6pm in the Charles Parson's Theatre in the University. Most of the audience were either studying law or teaching it. There was brief introduction listing Judge Moran's career path from a solicitor in 1970, to being a barrister, and then a judge. After this the judge briefly outlined the different tiers of the courts system in Ireland: District Court, Circuit Court, High Court, Supreme Court.
He said that there was a culture of expediency in the Circuit Court, where a case could be heard in a week that might take months to argue in the High Court.
He then spoke about the different parties in the Supreme Court: solicitors; barristers; jurors; witnesses; and the judge.
Given the audience he had (mostly aspiring solicitors and barristers) his discussion of solicitors and barristers was limited to comparing and contrasting them as careers rather than their functions in court. He also told his audience that they “probably know more law than [he] does, as one forgets so much of it after graduation, but compensates for this with experience and practice.”
Judge Moran had some interesting things to say about jurors though! He described the Jury System as a slow, expensive system that evolved by accident. He also said that “the jury system is not something we would invent if we were starting from scratch today”. He disagreed with the view expressed by some that a Jury is somehow the “democracy on the ground” of the judicial system.
He explained how in earlier times jurors had to be householders, “people who were considered safe, and reasonably pro-establishment.” He said that now many such people will beg to be excused from jury duty because of work, children or holidays, and that “juries tend to be mostly made up of unemployed or retired people”.
Judge Moran went on to inform us that, unlike days of old, juries can no longer be punished by the judge for returning a verdict that the judge disagrees with (what he referred to as a “perverse judgement.' He outlined the case of Crown v William Penn (Quaker who founded the State of Pennsylvannia) where the Judge had the jury locked up for not agreeing with him. “Nowadays of course, if a jury acquits someone that the judge knows is guilty then we have to live with the perverse judgement.”
He also cited the case of DPP vs. Mark Davis where the Judge directed the jury to find the defendant guilty. This was found to be unlawful by the Supreme Court.
In relation to the perception that a judge “seems to be able to [do] anything he likes” Judge Moran assured us that this was not true. We were told that a court room is “like a gold fish bowl, where the judge’s actions and words are seen by all, and if he makes a mistake or is incompetent, then the whole court will see him for what he is.”
He advised that a good judge is one who listens and the ones who get into trouble are the ones who pre-empt things. In contrast, he said, a jury does not have to give reasons for its decisions, but if a jury were to acquit a guilty person it “would be sending a message to the government and the legislature.”
He then by compared the judiciary to the Papacy. “Stalin asked how many battalions did the Pope have? Of course the Pope has no battalions, but he has moral authority'. Likewise, 'the Chief Justice’s ability to enforce the law [was] dependant on the the good will of the Public at Large and nothing else.”
Finishing, Judge Moran reminded us that liberal democracy survived the 20th century by the skin of its teeth and that we should not take any of our hard-won rights for granted.
The floor was then opened for questions.
The first was from an aspiring legal eagle who asked about the idea of fusing the professions of solicitors and barristers.
The second question was a bit less career minded and a bit more probing.
The chair quickly went on to the last question, which was about mandatory sentencing.
Judge Moran left immediately after giving a brief answer and didn’t stick around to mingle with the Law Society members.
We had a list of other questions in relation to judicial conduct, but we knew we had done well to publicly press a judge on just one of them.