Thursday, May 17, 2007

What's a website?

"Web site" baffles Internet terrorism trial judge

VIA REUTERS: A British judge admitted on Wednesday he was struggling to cope with basic terms like "Web site" in the trial of three men accused of inciting terrorism via the Internet.

Judge Peter Openshaw broke into the questioning of a witness about a Web forum used by alleged Islamist radicals.

"The trouble is I don't understand the language. I don't really understand what a Web site is," he told a London court during the trial of three men charged under anti-terrorism laws.

Prosecutor Mark Ellison briefly set aside his questioning to explain the terms "Web site" and "forum." An exchange followed in which the 59-year-old judge acknowledged: "I haven't quite grasped the concepts."

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Although the judge comes across as a fool for being so ignorant, I respect his honesty. So many people have abused positions of power by not being honest about their limits and making grossly negligent errors of judgment while pretending they know what they are doing.

I'm grateful this guy is actually doing the hard work of educating himself, becoming properly qualified for the job he's paid to do and accountable for how he does it. The biggest idiots here are the people who laugh at him for showing his shortcomings, ultimatly making it easier for arrogant, lazy manipulators to hold positions of power than for honest people like this judge to address their failings and so do their jobs well.

Nixta said...

That's a load of bullshit, anonymous. The judicial system has failed the judge and the accused, and probably the prosecution, by allowing this to get to the courts before it became clear he was woefully ill-qualified for the case in hand.

Fuck honesty vs dishonesty. I don't want to risk ending up in a system where it's only the honesty of one man that determines that I might be put on trial in capable hands - something that could change my life. I'm assuming of course that the accused are innocent until proven guilty and that the judge must "judge" that guilt appropriately.

He should educate himself, and is free to do that on the taxpayer's pound, but not at the expense of this particular trial (neither monetarily nor time-wise).

I'm not laughing at him. Nor am I laughing at you.

I'll keep my eye on you. I've seen you write a whole lot of stupid crap on any number of sites, anonymous (if that is your real name)...

Anonymous said...

You don't risk ending up in a system where individual honesty determines if you get a fair trial, nixta. You're already in one. I agree with you that there have been a lot of systematic failures in this case, that's why I appreciate the judge doing something that challenges the status quo.

Do you agree with me that many people, finding themselves standing in the judges shoes, would just bluff their way through to save face? Isn't that what we saw when the WMD's weren't found in Iraq? So I'm still cheering the judge's honesty as it bucks that trend. More people like him in powerful positions and we might end up in a system where personal accountability is the norm.