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Legal Minds

29 June 2018 / by / in

Judicial Bullies

It has been reported in The Times and elsewhere that there has been a marked increase of judicial bullying. Judges shouting at and belittling those who appear before them.

England has a long and established pedigree in judicial bullying and one of its leading proponents was Lord Ellenborough who convicted Lord Cochrane of fraud and Cochrane was only spared the pillory, because of public outcry. The pillory was a wooden device erected on a post for securing the head and hands, exposing the victim to public humiliation and physical abuse.

Lord Cochrane, subsequently brought a charge, against Lord Ellenborough of “partiality, misrepresentation, injustice and oppression”, which was not successful. Ellenborough became Lord Chief Justice of the King’s Bench in 1802. He has been described as “harsh”, “overbearing” and “biased”.

Lord Cochrane a famous frigate captain was centre stage in a colourful conspiracy case with De Berenger, who was a co-defendant. After a thirteen hour prosecution case, Ellenborough insisted the defence begin at 10pm and he did not adjourn the proceedings until 3am. The case featured an early share ramping fraud which took place in February 1814.

Three “French officers” dressed in Bourbon uniform were celebrating the “fake news” that Napoleon was dead and the French monarchy would be restored. They were insisting that the news be conveyed by semaphore to the Admiralty.

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John specialises in commercial and civil fraud litigation. Admitted as a solicitor in 1983, John worked in private practice and in-house for a leading life assurance company before establishing Bivonas with Antony Brown in 1997. John has extensive experience in a wide range of courts and tribunals including the UK Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the Divisional Court. He has been involved in a number of important reported cases.