I am flabbergasted at this story.
In summary a well respected High Court Judge in the Family Division has been roundly condemned by the Court of Appeal for making a string of remarks which were pointedly referring to the ethnic origin of one of the parties, namely a wealthy Sheikh. Mr Justice Singer has publicly apologised, saying he did not intend his remarks to be racist, but I find it difficult to comprehend how making remarks about flying carpets, sand, turkish delight and fasting – to describe the Sheikh’s evidence and in the course of expounding views about the case evidently not favourable to him – can be anything but discriminatory language. The Sheikh, having been told the submissions made on his behalf had been rejected by the Judge in this extraordinary way was surely bound to take matters the wrong way. It doesn’t take a brilliant legal mind to work that out.
On Planet Judge it may be considered clever and witty (perhaps it took the edge of the dryness of the figures), but unsurprisingly Sheikh Khalid Ben Abdfullah Rashid al-Fawaz had a sense of humour failure and went to the Court of Appeal. Rather than tell him to stick his appeal in his shisha and smoke it the Court of Appeal agreed that this was a ‘singularly unsatisfactory, unfortunate and embarrassing matter’, as indeed it was.
The legal world is not as advanced as some of us like to think it is.
Postscript. Geeklawyer and I are coming at this from ever so slightly different angles. Maybe I take life too seriously…
Postpostscript. (I should really read my feeds BEFORE posting). Also Family Lore has already posted on this – in more neutral terms than either myself or geeklawyer. Probably sensible.