Order in court?

His Honour the Deemster Doyle, Her Majesty’s First Deemster and Clerk of the Rolls, has recently launched a Code of Conduct for Members of the Judiciary of the Isle of Man.

The Code covers six main areas namely (1) judicial independence, (2) impartiality, (3) integrity, (4) propriety, (5) equality of treatment and (6) competence and diligence.

Deemster Doyle commented:

“It is hoped that the publication of this Code of Conduct will assist in underlining to the community the high standards of conduct rightly expected from judges in this jurisdiction. It will also be a useful document for the Manx Judiciary in considering the high standards expected of them in their judicial and personal lives.”

Extract: Code of Conduct:

Members of the judiciary shall carry out their duties with dignity, courtesy and humanity. Furthermore, they are to ensure as far as practicable that good order and decorum are maintained in the courtroom where they preside. The dignity of the court should at all times be maintained. Discourtesy, or overbearing conduct, towards those appearing in court as parties, counsel, or witnesses, is to be avoided. Members of the judiciary should seek to be courteous, tolerant and punctual and should respect the value and dignity of everyone.



Mother’s conviction for abducting her son overturned

A jury found her guilty of child abduction.

However, this has now been quashed by the Appeal Deemsters who ruled the woman didn’t get a fair trial.

They criticised the actions of Deemster Birkett who carried out the hearing.

The ruling says he kept intervening as the defendant gave evidence and that these interventions were critical of her and gave the impression there was little or no merit to what she was saying.

It was ruled this was unfair and that Deemster Birkett had acted like he was the prosecuting advocate.




The family of Robert Kneale, the motorcyclist killed in a collision atFairyBridgein June, are to make an official complaint to the Law Society.

They say they are unhappy with the behaviour of the acting deemster, from the United Kingdom, who presided over the trial of the man accused of causing Mr Kneale’s death.

Mr Kneale’s sister-in-law Patricia Kneale says the family feels some of the deemster’s conduct was inappropriate.

One example she gave came when he questioned the prosecution’s assertion that the fatal collision happened on a ‘main road’:


The Deemster stopped and said ‘A main road? That’s not a main road, it’s a country lane.’  The Prosecutor again said: ‘Mr Waghorn, don’t you think that the manoeuvre you made on the main road was a bad one, that it was dangerous?’ and Mr Waghorn replied, ‘ But his Honour has just said it is only a country lane.’ With that the Deemster replied ,’ Mr Waghorn, you’re a clever man to agree with the Deemster’ and the people in the court started chuckling. We were very, very hurt by it. And after all – it is a main road.

 ‘A roads constitute the main roads of the island whilst roads labelled B to D will decrease in size and or quality’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transport_in_the_Isle_of_Man




manxasthehills2011: I rest my case


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