Email Dialogue: After Complaint of Dame Laura Cox + her group statement.

Started by Pacman7331, Nov 05, 2010, 03:11 PM

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Pacman7331

Nov 05, 2010, 03:11 PM Last Edit: Nov 05, 2010, 03:13 PM by Pacman7331
This email exchange records my dialogue with a clerk of the "Office of Judicial Complaints". The complaint was sent over the statements reported on by the judiciary in lieu of this article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1311004/Judges-ordered-mercy-women-criminals-deciding-sentences.html

This is a record of that dialogue starting with most recent to latest message:
Quote

Dear (Pacman7331)

Thank you for your email and the additional information that it
contained. I have now had the opportunity to study the material you
provided and I am in a position to respond to the matters that you have
raised.

This email explains that I have dismissed your complaint for the reasons
detailed below and provides advice about using the services of the
Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman should you wish to do so.

The Remit of the OJC

As you are aware from my previous email to you, my role as a caseworker
within the Office for Judicial Complaints is to support the Lord Chief
Justice and the Lord Chancellor in their joint responsibilities for
judicial conduct and discipline. These responsibilities are set out in
the Judicial Discipline (Prescribed Procedures) Regulations 2006 and
cover matters relating to allegations of misconduct in the way that a
judicial office holder has behaved, whether inside or outside the
courtroom.

The Lord Chief Justice, the Lord Chancellor and officials in this Office
are not able to consider or intervene in complaints about judicial
decisions or judicial case management.  The only way in which a judicial
decision can be challenged is by appeal to a higher court.  Judicial
decisions include, but are not limited to, the way in which proceedings
are handled, which matters should be considered, which evidence should
be heard, and decisions taken in relation to costs. Whilst not meant to
be an exhaustive list, examples of potential misconduct would be
rudeness, aggressive behaviour and the use of insulting, profane, racist
or sexist language.

Your complaint

In summary, you have complained about comments reported in an article
from the Daily Mail, which referred to directions issued by the Judicial
Studies Board. You say that you wish to complain about Dame Cox because
she heads the team that drafted the 'Equal Treatment Bench Book', which,
amongst other things, states that 'women's experiences as victims,
witnesses and offenders are in many respects different to those of men'
and that 'these differences highlight the importance of the need for
sentencers to bear these matters in mind when sentencing'.

Reasons for the Dismissal

As I have indicated above, the Lord Chancellor's and the Lord Chief
Justice's responsibilities with regard to the conduct of judicial office
holders are set out in the Judicial Discipline (Prescribed Procedures)
Regulations.  Regulation 14(1)(e) states that the OJC must dismiss
allegations that are unsubstantiated and even if substantiated require
no disciplinary action to be taken.

The document that gives rise to your complaint covers a variety of
issues including gender, race, disability, children and sexual
orientation. It was the product of many contributors. In the preface,
Dame Cox pays tribute to Gordon Ashton, Tufyal Choudhury, Barbara Cohen,
Sandhya Drew, Mandy de Waal, Keith Hornby, Catriona Jarvis, Peter Jones,
Georgina Kent, Karon Monaghan QC, Camilla Palmer, Coretta Phillips and
Susan Tapping, to name but a few. In the first instance therefore, I do
not find that it is a work that can be attributed solely to the personal
views of Dame Cox.

In the second instance, the OJC cannot comment extensively on the issue
because it relates to a publication by the Judicial Studies Board. In
any event, the matters discussed do not constitute personal misconduct.
The quotations to which the Daily Mail article refers are general
statements which, in my view, highlight the need for judges to consider
trials on a 'case by case' basis and this is shown by emphasis on the
fact that 'women's experiences...are in many respects different to those
of men'. I can find nothing in these statements that implies
'discrimination' or a 'lack of impartiality' as you allege in your email
of 18 September.


The Office for Judicial Complaints cannot intervene in such matters and
I must therefore dismiss your complaint in accordance with Regulation
14(1)(e) of the Judicial Discipline (Prescribed Procedures) Regulations
2006. I have, however made the Judicial Studies Board aware of the
complaints that you made.

Whilst I appreciate that you will be disappointed with my response, I
hope that I have explained clearly the decision making process and the
reasons for dismissing your complaint. However, if you would like any
further information, or feel that I have failed to address any of the
points raised in your letter, please do not hesitate to contact me in
writing, or by telephone on 0203 334 2526.

The Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman

If you feel that the Office for Judicial Complaints has not handled your
complaint properly, you can complain to the Judicial Appointments and
Conduct Ombudsman, Sir John Brigstocke KCB. Please note, however, that
the Ombudsman can only consider a complaint about our handling of your
complaint.  He has no power to investigate your original complaint about
the judge concerned.

The Ombudsman will be able to investigate your complaint if you write to
him within 28 days of notification of our decision. After that period,
he will consider whether it is appropriate to investigate it.  Further
information about the Ombudsman and his remit for investigations can be
found at www.judicialombudsman.gov.uk. The Office of the Judicial
Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman can be contacted in writing at 9th
Floor, The Tower, 102 Petty France, London SW1H 9AJ. They can also be
contacted by telephone on 020 3334 2900 or by e-mail at
[email protected]

Yours sincerely,

Natasha Kumalo
Office for Judicial Complaints

On Oct 7, 2010, at 7:36 AM, Kumalo, Natasha wrote:

Dear Mr Morris,

Thank you for your email. The purpose of this note is to provide you
with information on the remit of the OJC and to ask you for further
information so that I can investigate the matters that you raise.

I hope you will find it helpful if I begin by explaining that the role

of the Office for Judicial Complaints (OJC) is to support the Lord
Chief Justice and the Lord Chancellor in their joint responsibilities
for judicial conduct and discipline.  Their responsibilities cover
matters relating to allegations of personal misconduct in the way that
a judicial office holder has behaved, whether inside or outside of the
courtroom. Issues of personal conduct include, but are not restricted to, the use
of profane, sexist, or racist language; behaving aggressively, or
shouting. Where incidents involving the personal conduct of a judicial
office holder occur, the Office for Judicial Complaints will make
further enquiries. If allegations of personal misconduct are
substantiated, The Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice will jointly
decide what disciplinary action, if any, is necessary.
Neither the Lord Chief Justice, the Lord Chancellor nor officials in
this Office, is able to consider or intervene with complaints about
judicial decisions.  The only way in which a judicial decision can be
challenged is by appeal to a higher court.

The term 'judicial decision' encompasses issues relating to the way in
which a judge chooses to handle a case; decisions made on the evidence
that will be considered and/or dismissed; the weight attached to
evidence that is considered, the final outcome of the case and other
ancillary things such as costs and sentencing. The principle of
judicial independence from government means that these things can only
be challenged via the legal process, on appeal if so advised.
If in the meantime you require anything further, please do not hesitate
to contact me.


Yours sincerely,

Natasha Kumalo
Office for Judicial Complaints

______________________________________________________________________
__

Natasha Kumalo | Caseworker | Office for Judicial Complaints

Telephone 020 3334 2526 | Facsimile 020 3334 2541 | Email
[email protected]

Address 10th Floor, 102 Petty France, London, SW1H 9AJ | DX 152380
Westminster 8




-----Original Message-----
From: CyclotronMajesty [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 18 September 2010 22:49
To: Customer OJC
Subject: Complaint of Dame Laura Mary Cox DBE

Dear Office for Judicial Complaints,

      I'm writing a formal complaint about a judge who
recently has had a voice in the public sphere via the press. The comments and words of the judge have shown blatant discrimination and lack of impartiality
against a certain group of citizens. As I understand it justice should
be done without favoritism or bias and in service to all groups of
society in fairness for all. However press coverage of "Dame Laura
Mary Cox DBE" of the High Court Queen's Bench Division who was
appointed on 4/11/02 in this article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1311004/Judges-ordered-mercy-women-criminals-deciding-sentences.html have shown that her views are in blatant favor of one
group over another: women over men. The concern is that sentences for females may be more lenient than those for men. While leniency is not a wrong systematic favoritism and bias is a fundamental breach of justice; being lenient on
women by course is the same as being harsher on men; which perpetuates
that men are more guilty for their crimes than women; that you have to
oppress men for the benefit of women. Her words and orders have
amounted to a mandate of harsher treatment towards men in the justice
system. By showing more mercy on women criminals there is thus a
harsher sentencing on men; this practices is discriminatory and a
breakdown of justice and impartiality. A condition that is already
known and widespread is the prevalent vastly harsher sentences that
are given to men versus women for the same crime with similar
circumstances. Any judge who's words and actions show a blatant
disregard for a fair delivery of justice should be denied their power
and authority. Please conduct an investigation of "Dame Laura Cox"
actions words and uses of her authority to the highest standard for a
breach of justice and fairness in the court system, thank you very
much.

   Regards,
(Pacman7331)




I'm going to press this matter further. I am however glad the complaint at least got past this woman's desk.

This is my action plan and thoughts so far:

2 Email response.

Email guy to say that if claims are
substantiated action should be taken.

Email clerk:  Contend and explain how impartiality and discrimination is present. Perhaps invite her to explain how assumptions based on gender and therefore different sentencing is not discriminatory based on gender? Her assumption states that the differnces in sentencing is based on differing experiences. But your bases for differing experiences is rooted in gender, where it is assumed all females have differing experiences, thus these should be considered. But everyone has differing experiences. Her assumption is that only women have differing experiences that should be considered. But she would not consider or give weight to differing experiences of men? This shows the root of your decision in sentencing is based in consideration of gender not circumstances. This policy is just drafting a way of giving women lower penelties and covering it up by saying all women have different experiences. But everyone has different experiences not just females. This policy is descriminating against those therefore who are not female.

Also I may follow this up with another complaint in writing. They usually have more weight than emails.

Any comments or suggestions?

dr e

Great stuff!

I would add a couple of things.  

1. Make sure to read the rules that she is quoting about the actions their agency can and cannot take.  Know their rules and use them against them when possible.  She is stonewalling and likely can be out-maneuvered if you know their rules and mandates.

2.  Contact a low level politician that represents you and show him/her this interchange.  Ask him or her what might be the best approach and importantly ask them if their might be another agency that would be better to send it to?

3.  Use the press.  See if you can get a local reporter interested in your project. Facebook is becoming more and more important as a means to get in touch with the media.  The media are now scanning facebook and twitter for possible stories.  Be there!

4. Know that taking up their time and energy is a good thing.  If 1000 more men were doing just what you are doing the system would be swamped in dealing with men's issues.  They rely on men not doing anything and being good chivalrous chumps willing to take a hit so the ladies can get what they want.  It's time more of us started doing exactly what you are doing and clog up the gears of a hateful system.

Thanks for doing this! 
Contact dr e  Lifeboats for the ladies and children, icy waters for the men.  Women have rights and men have responsibilties.

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