You can tell that you are watching fiction on Law and Order because, unlike most real courts, the judges in Law and Order are awake.
Remove this sleeping judge from the bench
Judge fell asleep, new trial ordered
CP Wire Service Story
TORONTO -- A man convicted of mischief and criminal harassment was granted a new trial yesterday after an appeal court heard that the judge who presided over his case fell asleep during cross-examination. Justice Ayres Couto convicted Andras Deak of mischief and criminal harassment at the end of a trial and sentenced him to two years probation. But an appeal court overturned the conviction yesterday, saying Couto's ability to observe the demeanour of a key witness might have been impaired.
According to an affidavit filed in the Ontario Superior Court by Deak's trial lawyer, Kim Schofield, Couto dozed off during the cross-examination of the complainant.
Schofield said her suspicions the judge was asleep were confirmed by both her assistant and the Crown attorney. The three decided to drop a 2,136-page copy of the Criminal Code on the judge's desk to get his attention.
"I dropped the code and his honour was visibly stirred from his slumber," Schofield said in her affidavit.
COMPLAINING ABOUT JUDGES
Judges across Canada are complaining about being criticized, as if, they have
some sort of royal prerogative and are above the rest of us. There is no doubt
that many judges believe themselves to be superior beings. Criticism is long overdue.
If you think our judges are so great, why are so many false convictions emerging?
Why are they all against men?
MANDATORY GENDER SENSITIVITY TRAINING:
Did you know that ALL new judges MUST undergo mandatory brain washing by the militant feminist movement
to ensure that they understand that all women are victims and all men are evil?
It is time that we examine judges and their many foibles. Judges are human beings and come in wide ranges of competence. I have seen good judges having bad days on the bench and bad judges having good days.
As one who has spent hundreds of days in courts and observed thousands of cases,
I can assure you that judges are in need of severe criticism. More importantly,
we need to create a mechanism to publicly review judges' performance. We also need to replace the ineffectual judicial councils with a forum which will discipline and remove judges where needed. The existing judicial councils erroneously believe their function is to protect judges from the public, not the public from judges.
I have seen some judges drunk on the bench, some sleeping during hearings. I have
seen most judges at times indulge in violent temper tantrums, and be rude,
arrogant, condescending and cruel to lawyers and citizens appearing before them
I have seen many judges routinely ignore the law and the evidence. I have seen
incompetent judges, sexist judges and racist judges.
Lawyers have told me horror stories about the aberrant behaviour of judges. There is a judge in Ontario lawyers call Dr Death. However lawyers all know that to be seen publicly criticizing a judge is professional suicide. Vindictive judges may take their revenge on the lawyers clients.
We have had judges on our benches who are convicted criminals, including even a
convicted FLQ terrorist.
How dare judges complain that they are being criticized? Ontario has found it necessary to set up alcohol and addiction counselling services for our judges. What does that suggest?
Judges operate in open court, but the public seldom attends. The media generally refrains from ever commenting on judges deportment or competence.
My position is clear. We need to take remake the entire system of judicial appointments and performance reviews so that judges who develop the common judicial disease of megalomania, can be brought to heel or removed.
Will the system change? Not likely. The public sees the judiciary as an important trash removal system and do not care if innocent people routinely get swept away. That is they do not care until it happens to them, and then it is too late.
"At least myths are developed to explain the facts,
while ideologies always try to make the facts fit the ideas."
| Some say a judge is like a sea squirt. A sea squirt is a small marine animal that starts life by searching for a permanent home. When it finds something suitable like a rock, it glues itself to the rock permanently and will never move again. Then, having no further use for its brain, it eats it.
Where, oh where do our tax dollars go?
Salaries of Judges in Canada
Judges who currently earn about $260,000 a year, tried to give themselves an 18% increase effective 2011. A Toronto Star survey reported that most judges earned far less as lawyers. In other words, the worst lawyers are the ones who tend to become judges because they cannot earn a living as lawyers.
Judges are the highest paid professional group in Canada. They earn more than doctors, dentists, or even stock brokers. They have given themself power to set their own salaries and nothing can effectively reverse their decisions.
Currently Ontario Superior Court judges earn about $216,000.00 a year and cannot be fired. Ontario Provincial Court Judges now earning about $170.000.00 a year are seeking to have that raised to $206,000 a year.
Being appointed a judge is the equivalant of being appointed an instant millionaire. It is much better than being appointed to the Senate. They also set their own salaries. They judge themselves. They complain about how hard done by they are in their job. The rest of us should be so lucky.
The Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission makes recommendations to the Minister of Justice on issues of salary, benefits and other compensation matters of federally annointed judges.
There are some 2300 judges in Canada all together. That gives us roughly one judge for every 20 lawyers, so why are the courts so back logged? Is it more because judges work half days? They start at 10:00 in the morning. Take a half hour break around 11:30 and a 2 hour lunch and quit around 4:00PM.
Ask any lawyer.... they will unofficially tell you that many judges (not all) are egomaniacs. Many are rude, arrogant and power mad. Many are living proof that power corrupts. We need major judicial reform. Judges should be appointed for limited terms and subject to review.
They really come to believe that they are honourable. In fact, many of them are absolutely dishonourable. We have even had convicted criminals on the bench. We probably have many unconvicted criminals on the bench now.
If the judiciary is so professional and competent, why are so many false convictions emerging? You can believe that there are thousands more. So many individuals charged with minor offences are forced by practical reasons to plead guilty to crimes they did not commit by a corrupt system. Often people, mostly men, are denied bail and face serving more jail time awaiting trial then a conviction would get them if they are found guilty, so they plead guilty to get out sooner. People who plead not guilty are severely punished for so pleading by our judges. So much for justice.
Damn the Don:90% of the people locked up in the Don Jail in violation of their charter rights against cruel and unusual punishment have not been convicted of any crime. They are awaiting trial, denied bail or unable to raise bail. THEY ARE INNOCENT OF ANY CRIME.
You won't care about this until it happens to you or someone you care about. That is human nature. People think that anyone arrested and locked up deserves it somehow. That is not true. Thousands of people are locked up on charges which will not survice trial. Police overcharge and incarerate people daily for many reasons, including illegal ones. They charge people rightly or wrongly to improve their crime statistics. They charge people they do not like. They abuse their powers routinely, practice racial profiling and persecute Blacks for being black. In Toronto, many of these people end up in the Don. They then have to prove themselve innocent at huge expense to regain their freedom.
There is little or nothing a citizen can do to protect themselves form a system which values expediency over justice. When it hits close to your home, you will wish you had acted before.
Toronto area judges and JPs routinely send accused (but not tried or convicted) to the Don Jail on remand or to await the courts for some reason. This is done every day despite the fact that virtually all these judges and JPs have found that incarceration in the Don Jail is a violation of these (mostly innocent accused) Charter Rights. Where is the justice in that?
The Toronto Don Jail, is a maximum security prison, not some Mayberry town hoosegow. Conditions are medieval. That is, in my opinion, a crime in itself.
Judges are supposedly subject to discipline by the Canadian Judicial Council but in reality that never happens. The CJC is in one sense a judges union and it does more to gain privileges for judges than it does to discipline judges who get out of line.
The CJC has published on line a new "Plain English" guideline for judges. It is suggested for use by judges in instructing juries.