• December 24, 2015


Now if there’s one thing about Manx Deemsters you can’t accuse them of being stuffy. When given good advice they’ll take it as we noted about five years ago (August 2011) when they introduced a grandly sounding ‘CODE OF CONDUCT FOR MEMBERS OF THE JUDICIARY’. Here’s a link:


Now it turns out that about a year earlier the Celtic League had remarked what a positive step it was that in Ireland the Judiciary had been regulated via a Judicial Conduct Committee. Effectively after being almost ‘untouchables’ for more than a century the Irish government dragged the judiciary kicking and screaming into the 21st Century (they also tackled Judges pay – but that is another story)!

Anyway we remarked at the time (August 2010):

“The current system in the other Celtic countries including the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man is that senior judicial figures are not the subject of independent scrutiny operating instead under a self-regulatory framework which ensures they are accountable to no one. This leads to a fairly widespread lack of confidence in Judges (called Deemsters in the Isle of Man) in these jurisdictions.”

Now despite the fact that at the time we thought no one had taken any notice a year later, as indicated, the Deemsters unveiled their ‘Judicial Code’. So we’ll take some credit for that!

But it had to teeth because as you will see it is self-regulatory and who in this day and age gets to regulate them?

We note though that when it was introduced the First Deemster, David Doyle, said:

“It is hoped that the publication of this Code of Conduct will assist in underlining to the community the high standards of conduct rightly expected from judges in this jurisdiction. It will also be a useful document for the Manx Judiciary in considering the high standards expected of them in their judicial and personal lives.”

The code then concluded with:

“This Code of Conduct will be kept under review from time to time and may be amended in the future.”

Well if there has not been a review lately perhaps its past time it was revisited. Self regulation is all well and good but some effective regulatory oversight being added would make the code more credible than the PR exercise for the Courts of Justice it when it was released five years ago.

Link the Irish Judicial regulations including the Conduct Committee:

Photograph: Deemster Doyle and assorted Manx ‘worthies’.
Issued by: The Celtic News



The Celtic League established in 1961 has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It promotes cooperation between the countries and campaigns on a range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, military activity and socio-economic issues


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