Judges: Servants of the Law – But Also Servants of Justice?
I am often asked whether, as a judge, I ever had to take decisions that I felt to be unjust. This is a tough question since a judge is required to establish the facts and to apply the law to those facts. The acid test is not whether the judgment is just, but whether it is lawful; that is to say, whether the correct law was applied and whether the law was applied correctly. Another important question is, of course, whether the established facts mirror the actual circumstances of the case. Does this mean that justice is wholly irrelevant as a benchmark for court decisions? I hope not, and in my decisions I have always endeavoured to do justice to the particular circumstances of the individual case. Naturally, I cannot say if those concerned felt the same.