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Justice Refshauge denies taking a snooze.

By johnboy - 23 October 2008 4

The Canberra Times has a piece on trouble in the Supreme Court where Justice Richard Refshauge has had to deny he was taking a nap during the hearing of evidence during a complex trial:

    “Nevertheless, doing the best I can, I have come to the conclusion that when [the applicant] alleges that I was asleep, he has been mistaken. The fairness of the trial has not been compromised by me, the trial judge, being asleep”

Speaking for myself I know that when nodding off I’m a poor judge of what I might have missed.

On the other hand a new judge might still be learning the importance of appearing attentive even during the most tedious proceedings?

What’s Your opinion?


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4 Responses to
Justice Refshauge denies taking a snooze.
astrojax 1:52 pm 23 Oct 08

Attacking the allegation rather than denying the fact?

well, to be fair, woody, he attacked the substance of the allegation, not the allegation itself, and later went on to clarify his comment:

I was able to identify the point in which he was alleging that I was asleep and able to say that I was not because I knew what he was referring to.

and of course, the poor grammar of “the trial has not been compromised by me, the trial judge, being asleep” is not conclusive of his actually having been asleep – the trial is not compromised by the judge being asleep because the facts are that the judge was not asleep, so that phrase ‘me, […] being asleep’ is false (in the russellian sense) by virtue of it being a non-verifiable utterance, like ‘the king of france’ or ‘the square circle’…

Woody Mann-Caruso 11:49 am 23 Oct 08

Allegedly.

Woody Mann-Caruso 11:49 am 23 Oct 08

Hrm. Attacking the allegation rather than denying the fact? Check. Mixed tenses as brain struggles to document an untruth? Check. Accidental admission disguised as refutation (trial has not been compromised by me being asleep)? Check.

southeeplace 10:40 am 23 Oct 08

“None of the other [27] defendants supported Mr Endresz’s application, and the Commonwealth opposed it. The allegation was made days after the High Court had ordered a retrial for two men convicted of drug-trafficking in a NSW District Court trial during which Judge Ian Dodd was asleep for lengthy periods.”

This looks like a very amateurish try-on. In my view, there is almost no chance that Justice Refshauge fell asleep.

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