Judges to be formally assessed

What is the best way to improve the performance of our judges?  Well in typical New Labour fashion it seems the answer is to set target levels and dumb down.  It is being reported that judges’ performance in court could well be monitored by some sort of assessor who will look out for a judge’s performance on handling a court, showing authority, communicating and resolving issues and managing time and workloads, in the plans under discussion.  They will then be formally appraised how well they listen; whether they communicate clearly without using legal jargon and on the general handling of their cases.  Presumably when the case is finished they have to take home their report to show their mum.  

While the reasons for doing this are certainly for good and honest reasons, I can not help think that judges will be so aware of these assessments that they will start dumbing down for fear of using, god forbid, professional language (aka jargon to the rest of us) and will be forced to fit someone's ideal rather than being independent and free thinking in their approach.  It also raising the prospect of some sort of league table of judges - I assume the appraisals will rank a performance under some sort of measurement system.  If this is the case we are entering very sticky ground.  Let them get on with it, I say...



The whole legal profession, CPS, barristers and judges are a totally morally and financially corrupt scam, it's a closed shop run at taxpayers' expense and they can all fuck off if you ask me. A few lay magitrates and a jury can come to better decisions.

(your captcha is really fucking difficult, I am now on my seventh attempt)

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Mark, As you can see, I just tried a couple of tests of the new captcha system (I changed it a couple of days ago after the previous complaints), and it is working straight off the bat for me. How exactly is it not working for you? Are you still getting squares or other unrecognizable characters, or is it not accepting your answer and asking you to try again? One possibility is that it might be a question of case - it's case-sensitive, but to make it easy, all letters now are upper-case. If you have trouble posting a reply, you have my email - let me know privately, and I'll see what I can do to fix it.