A senior barrister and academic says some judges are “unjustifiably rude” to lawyers.
Professor Jo Delahunty QC says barristers have told her how they had been humiliated by “judicial bullying”.
She has outlined her concerns in an article for a legal magazine.
“So, are there are judges who abuse their position by being unjustifiably rude, hostile, unfairly critical of and abusive towards lawyers who appear before them?” Prof Delahunty, who specialises in family law, has written in Counsel magazine.
“‘Yes’: it is an issue for small minority of judges.
“It has happened to me. From my knowledge of, and practice in, the family Bar I have been given clear, corroborated, accounts of it occurring in the High Court. I have been told of it in the county court.”
She added: “I have received emails from members of the Bar at all levels of call who have experienced judicial bullying and felt deskilled and humiliated as a result. Let me make plain that we are talking of judicial behaviour well beyond the grumpy, peeved or abrasive.”
Prof Delahunty said she had received reports of conduct which would fall within Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service definition of workplace bullying.
She said tweets and emails she had received suggested that barristers thought complaining would harm their careers.