Thursday, 6 August 2009

Judge Ian Trigger And His Irresponsible Judgement

The wise decision of the Judicial Complaints Commission to have Judge Ian Trigger face a disciplinary probe should be welcomed by all as a healthy development and a resounding victory for democracy. This decision is a clear case of one of those moments one can boldly and proudly say that common sense has finally prevailed.

The decision follows the recent outbursts and tirades of Judge Ian Trigger on the ruling Labour Party on their handling of the immigration since coming to power over a decade ago. The outbursts were made recently while sentencing a 31 year old Jamaican drug dealer, Lucien McClearly at the Liverpool Crown Court.

Judge Trigger while sentencing McClearly told him that his case, “Illustrates all too clearly the completely lax immigration policy in this country. People like you and there are literally hundreds of thousands like you, come to these shores from foreign countries to avail themselves of the generous welfare benefits here.

"In the past 10 years the national debt of this country has risen to extraordinary heights, largely because central government has wasted billions and billions of pounds. Much of that has been wasted on welfare payments. For every £1 that the decent citizen, who is hard-working, pays in taxes in this country, nearly 10 per cent goes on servicing that national debt. That is twice the amount it was in 1997 when this government came to power."

From the surface Judge Trigger may not seem to have committed any offence but bearing in mind the profession he belongs to and his position as a judge, there everything wrong with his comment. In fact he threw caution to the wind in that judgement and this is a good example of irresponsible judgment and arrogant pontificating that has ignorance as the only bearing.

He may not be guilty of pouring his venomous speech on McClearly because he has a legal immunity that protects him while discharging his duties but the fact is that he went beyond the boundary of legal privilege, decency and modicum in also lambasting the Labour Party’s immigration policy of the last 13 years and having the audacity to get near to that boundary is the main reason am in full support of Trigger facing the Judicial Complaints Commission.

His speech has got every quality of that of a politician and that is one thing legal luminaries are always wary of and constantly reminded never to make a mistake of branching into. In singling out the Labour Party to reprimand for the shortcomings in the immigration system, Trigger failed to put into consideration the fact that it could be construed as campaigning for the Conservative Party, the Official Opposition Party to Her Majesty.

His speech is very political and that is one thing that is not expected of a judge of his calibre and standing. He simply crossed the boundary, the legal immunity that protects him and audaciously made political comments in what is supposed to be a legal issue. The speech simply went beyond the facts of the case and extended overtly into the political arena.

There is a clear error in judgement here and Trigger should have learnt by now how to pass judgment on individual cases and not society. He clearly does not have the intellectual or moral capacity to conceptualize the bigger picture and pass judgement on the society. He should concentrate on doing what he is being paid to do and not delving into political matters. He could resign and seek an elective post if he is so much interested in political issues. A judge is a judge and not a politician and what makes a judge thick is his ability to pass a judgement impartially.

Being a Judge with over many years of experience on the bench, Trigger should have known this. Law is a very honourable and noble profession and it is basically because of this that it takes quite a number of years to produce a lawyer in many countries of the world.

In Nigeria, after a 4 year degree in Law, the prospective candidate is expected to attend the Nigerian Law School for another one year before he is called to the bar to be qualified to practice law. Even at that he is expected to be under an experienced lawyer for some months or years of tutelage before he could have his own voice in the legal circles.

In the United States of America, he is expected to have a first degree in any discipline before he could be allowed to study law and the reason for complicating the whole business this way is because of the enormous role lawyers are expected to play in future.

Against this backdrop therefore, it is expected of a lawyer to be unbiased, impartial, straightforward, apolitical and neutral and must have a self control especially in his modus loquendi. If Trigger possesses all these qualities there is no doubt that his outbursts and tirades against the Labour Party betrays him as a judge lacking deeply in neutrality, self control and apolitical.

The tongue and mouth of Judges are sacred and that is why both are respected so much because they use both in making judgements that could may or mar somebody’s future. By the words of their mouth empires are built and by the same words of their mouth empires are made to fall like pack of cards.

Judge Trigger did not put all these into consideration in his outbursts. He should have, before pulling his trigger. Labour may have been guilty in messing up the immigration system but the fact remains that same immigration policy of the Labour Party has gone a long way in introducing spice and variety in the life of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Today the United Kingdom could boast of being a metropolitan nation, a land of freedom, a citadel of human rights and a home to every race, religion, creed, belief, colour and country on earth where various groups are fully integrated into the British life and are proud of their new citizenship and heritage. Trigger should have been aware of this before pouring his venoms not only on the Labour Party but also on the law abiding immigrants in this country.

It is therefore a clear and vivid example of irresponsible judgement on the part of Trigger to have overlooked the numerous and wonderful contributions immigrants have made and are still making in this country before lashing out on the Labour for irresponsible behaviour of a young man that was never in the first place caused by the Labour Party.

In situations like these, it is always easy to point accusing finger on the government in power and this is the stand the Conservative Party have adopted ever since David Cameroun was elected its leader. Every single evil and mistake in this country including inflation, depression and unemployment have been blamed on Labour by the Conservatives but the fact is that we have not too quickly forgotten the mess Conservatives put this country into when they had the power especially under the Prime Ministership of Margret Thatcher.

Immigration has contributed a lot to this country. We cannot deny the fact that it has also brought with it some evils but the fact is that when comparative analysis is made, the goods immigration brought to this country far outweighs the evil it brought. Judge Trigger being a learned gentleman should have known better than all of us and presiding in Liverpool the epicentre of the trade in Slaves should have been of immense benefit to him on how to handle issues like this.

If the ancestors of people like Lucien McClearly where not captured in Africa and sold into slavery by people like the ancestors of Trigger, the young man would not have known where the United Kingdom is. He may probably have been somewhere in the Eastern part of Nigeria or Ghana where history says most Jamaican came from, doing his business in his farm and feeding his family.

I have said it over and over again. You cannot eat your cake and have it. Every action has a consequence. Just as Trigger sentenced McClearly for his actions so would the problem of immigration be confronting Europe till they sincerely work out ways to solve the problems posed by the hydraheded monster.

The action of getting themselves in slave trade is basically the reason for the present immigration problems. Without slave trade and colonialism, African would not have known where Europe is. The slave trade and colonialism enriched Europe and put Africa deep in poverty. Today one of the consequences of these two evils is that these young men, whom their fathers were deprived of their wealth in 1800s, are here today to get back what belongs to them and too much noise should not be made about that. One good turn simply deserves another!

Judge Ian Trigger is therefore under a moral obligation to tender an unreserved apology for these unruly outbursts. It frankly echoes what the British National Party could sponsor and that is the reason the disciplinary committee should also look into who is paying the bill or sponsoring the ranting. A bird dancing on the road must have somebody in the bush beating the drums for him.

In the case of Judge Ian Trigger, who are those people? These questions are what we are expecting the disciplinary committee to look into even as we call upon them to look closely if there is a link between Judge Trigger and the MigrationWatch, the Conservative Party and even the British National Party from whose tweet I got to hear of this story for the very first time.

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