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Friday, November 15, 2019

The Old School

“The judge is an arbiter, not an inquisitor. He must not run a line of his own. He has no battle to fight. He must not, as the appeal court has several times said, descend into the arena. He is a referee and not a player, but not a mere referee. In relation to the facts of the case as distinct from the law, his power resembles that of a constitutional monarch of the Victorian age. He can ask any question he likes when he likes or he can keep silent until he has to sum up. Complete silence is, however, no more the mark of a good judge than is loquacity. By the discreet use of his power he softens the rigidities of the adversarial process. He can, and often does, ask the question which neither side dares to ask; or the question which one side is not allowed to ask and the other side does not want answered.”

Quoting from: Patrick Devlin, Easing the Passing: The Trial of Dr John Bodkin Adams (2nd edn., 1986) 74. 

Seth Barrett Tillman, The Old School, New Reform Club (Nov. 15, 2019, 7:38 AM), <https://reformclub.blogspot.com/2019/11/the-old-school.html>;