Saturday 18 November 2017

Seismic shift as Supreme Court splits on key ruling

For Judge Murray, the prospect of a citizen relying on the rule of law at the time of their trial having their acquittal set aside when the law is changed after the trial was an 'appalling prospect' and one that undermines the judicial process
For Judge Murray, the prospect of a citizen relying on the rule of law at the time of their trial having their acquittal set aside when the law is changed after the trial was an 'appalling prospect' and one that undermines the judicial process
Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

Judges are human, but they tend not to display their emotions as easily as the rest of us.

This is partly occupational hazard: juries and witnesses can easily pick up on any non-verbal cues - let alone verbal cues - emitted by judges that could lay the foundation of an appeal.

Even when handing down rulings, judges lean towards the urbane. But that quality was lacking to some degree yesterday when the Supreme Court - a 4/3 majority of it, to be precise - overturned one of its own key precedents aimed at protecting suspects' rights.

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