There was ‘no explanation’ as to why it took so long
An Australian judge has been criticised after he spent 17 hours reading aloud his own 138-page judgment in a case involving a spooked horse.
Following a six-day negligence case back in May 2016, district court judge Garry Neilson — who appears to have far too much time on his hands — decided to read out his extraordinarily long judgment word for word.
Neilson (pictured below), having spent almost four days crunching through his lengthy decision, eventually awarded a man almost AUS$340,000 (£200,000) in compensation when he was thrown from a horse which bucked after a car drove past.
Now, almost one year on, New South Wales’ Court of Appeal has overturned Neilson’s decision and slammed him for choosing to read it aloud. In a much shorter ruling delivered earlier this week, Justice Ruth McColl said:
There is no explanation in either the transcript of the hearing, or the primary judge’s reasons, as to why his honour delivered a judgment of such length while sitting in court, rather than, as is customary with a judgment of such length, handing down written reasons.
McColl went on to state that Neilson’s actions had taken up valuable “court resources” and created a significant “costs burden” on the parties involved.
But, the court said, this doesn’t appear to be an isolated case. Neilson — who was referred to Australia’s Judicial Commission in 2014 after suggesting people may no longer see incest as “unnatural” or “taboo” — has delivered oral judgments over three or four days on at least three separate occasions.
Read the judgment (the much shorter one) in full below:
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