I used to be a big fan of tribunals until I realised they were run by a crowd of self-serving parasites with only one plan. To make money for themselves.
What a pity.
In particular, what a pity that tribunals are controlled exclusively by lawyers, even though lawyers are by no means the only people capable of asking hard questions and writing clear reports.
Wait a minute. Did I say clear reports?
Now, any regular reader of this site will know that I don’t have any particular dislike of lawyers. Indeed, I count several of them among my friends, and I find them the best of company — convivial, intelligent and entertaining. But that’s my friends anyway, whether or not they happen to be lawyers, so perhaps we should move away from this aspect of it. I’m not asking if tribunals should be run by my friends.
I’m asking if it’s obvious that lawyers should be in charge of the tribunals, as opposed to some other professional group, or a combination of such groups.
Why, for instance, should the chair of a tribunal not go to a doctor, an artist, an economist, an engineer or an accountant?
Why should the questions not be asked by an architect, a physicist or a mathematician?
After all, it’s not as if the tribunal is a court of law, or even a forum that can be relied on in future legal actions. Indeed, the Supreme Court has reiterated that Tribunal findings have no standing in subsequent court actions since the tribunals are considered legally “sterile”, which means they carry no weight in a court action.
Given this fact, why are tribunals stuffed with barristers, who are being paid thousands of euros every day for doing no more than any other clear-thinking professional?
Before you accuse me of being elitist and asking why I don’t advocate road-sweepers, let me explain. It’s not that I have anything against road sweepers, but forensic, analytic thinking is not part of the training or job description for that calling. That’s why I don’t list them.
In my opinion, a member of any profession mentioned above, or for that matter, any well-read, intelligent citizen with a demonstrable track record for logic, would be able to do precisely the same job as the barristers at a fraction of the cost.
Or am I wrong?