► Judge Brian Spilg of Johannesburg, SA; Muammar Gadaffi Wannabee, Dufus Print E-mail
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Judge Brian Spilg of Johannesburg, SA; Muammar Gadaffi Wannabee, Dufus

Judge Brian Spilg sits on the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In late March 2012, The Supreme Court of Appeals spanked Judge Spilg for engaging in misconduct while presiding over a civil trial. The specifics of the misconduct the Court found are:
  1. Brian’s participation in the trial, which made up a third of the trial, was “highly inappropriate”
  2. Brian’s conduct has potentially brought the judiciary into dispute (potentially?)
  3. There was no factual basis for Brian’s conclusion as to liability
  4. Brian failed to act open-mindedly, impartially and fairly during the trial
  5. Brian was engaged in his own personal fact-find mission by calling witnesses
  6. He decided on his own initiative that an inspection be conducted
Judge Mhlantla of the Supreme Court went on to say in civil trials, the trial court does not have the power to call its own witnesses nor to order an inspection of the accident scene. Judge Mhlantla went on to say, “In the result, the actions of Judge Spilg had the effect of creating a perception that he was the plaintiff’s second counsel.”
As a consequence of his misconduct, the Supreme Court punished Judge Spilg by reprimanding him.
In the U S of A, judges are not disciplined for acting as advocates for a particular party in a civil case. In many instances it’s merely a way for the judge to show appreciation to one or more of his sponsors for his/her judgeship. Put simply, it’s the old “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.”

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