Trivial Competency tests for Trinidad Judges

Those questions will not help judges. We have to presume that Judges are competent lawyers who have undergone rigorous academic Training at major universities. Giving them trivia questions isnt going to prove anything about their competence. One of the biggest requirements when a lawyer goes from practice of representing his client to a Judge is knowing and understanding bias. I don’t think Judiciaries in any part of the western world fully understand this. Most research that look into trial and sentencing outcomes show a troubling pattern of bias – just about all of them. If you are poor, If you are male, if you are black – expect the full weight of the law to bear on your back if you happen to find yourself in front of a judge. Research shows that men get 50 to 75% harsher outcomes in courts in Western judicial systems than women for similar crimes. We are seeing more and more serious discrepancies when it comes to bias. There are sexual assault cases where women get off serving jail time “because she is too pretty for jail”. Very recently in the UK in a serious assault case of a female medical student – got off with no jail time – because she was doing very well academically.
Judges should be very thoroughly tested for bias. There are hundreds of different kinds of logical fallacies. And it must be acknowledged that everyone is biased – we are actually hard wired for bias to help our survival. But it has no place in the court room. The Judiciary has a rather obtuse approach to bias – a very high standard is placed on someone who wants to prove bias in a Judgement. So all that has to be done to for a judge not to be called out on his/her bias is not to ever express signs of bias. One other very serious source of bias – is with “social justice”. Or activism justice. This is where an individual thinks he/she is doing a greater good for society so its OK to usurp the basic principles of justice. Worse, is the development where Social justice principles are not only being incorporated in western justice, but is in fact replace important safe guards. The new principle of “listen and believe” in rape cases, that supplant important principles of justice like innocent until proven guilty and affording the accused his due process rights. All of this leads to mob justice. When the justice system fails to protect the innocent we must expect worse to happen to society. There are already many failed and unethical principles that have found its way into laws in Trinidad & Tobago – especially in Domestic Violence and Family Law statutes. We are on a slippery slope that will have far greater implications for society beyond the Judiciary. When the law fails at doing its job, people will take the law into their own hands and do what it takes to protect themselves, and we are already seeing this.
Archie found those questions from online riddle sites. And the news papers did not fully state those questions as some dont have questions. They cannot determine analytical skills but they are trivial IQ questions. The Brexit question is probably to see if you are not only watching the political stories but if you are actually understand whats going on. I doubt any judge will know the answer to that question off hand unless he specifically studied for it.

1 Comment

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