We have abolished the juror system, so this problem with lay persons making legal decisions is no longer a problem. We now have eminent and learned judges making legal decisions, very fine men and women with very fine training and education, people who think law and definitely cannot be influenced by lay persons writing their opinion pieces in the social media. Or would they? The main media would definitely not utter rubbish to influence the judgment in court when a case is in proceeding.
Read this again for the reasons for sub judice laws, ‘Both statutory and common law contempt of court are concerned with the possibility that a juror, witness or lay judge may be influenced by material which is published about active legal proceedings.’
We have done away with jurors. There is still possibility of witnesses being influenced by public opinions. And lay judges? Do we still have lay judges today in our courts? I have heard of judges, I have heard of lay persons but not lay judges. This is the first time I heard of lay judges in the above definition from outlaw.com. Can I safely conclude that our judges, well trained professionals, are not lay judges?
Is there really a case to invoke such restrictive laws on sub judice in this smart nation? A smart nation cannot be filled with stupid people right? And definitely not stupid judges that will go with the flow… of public opinions. Or at least people put into authority, especially in the courts of law, having gone through a tough regime of legal training, can they be easily influenced by public opinion despite their legal discipline? Or would a simple gag order, forbidding learned judges from reading the social media to protect them from bad influence in the social media do?
Have we advanced as a people, as a nation, to rise above antiquated laws that were introduced at a time when judges too were not so learned, could be lay judges, to protect them and the legal system? It would be very serious if our learned judges of today could easily be influenced by lay people making their lay opinions.
Are we regressing as a people, as a nation, to think that ancient laws and practices are still useful and practical to our highly educated, highly trained and highly discipline justice system?
Can we trust our learned judges to be able to distinguish between chaff and the real stuff in a legal proceeding? Or do we think that the learned judges are just as fickle as the lay people? What is the brandishing of this sub judice law trying to say? Would it undermine the integrity and intelligence of our learned judges, that they need such an ancient law to protect them from making wrong decisions?