By Anthony Sheridan
Ok, let’s get the obvious truth out in the open – Seamus Woulfe is a dud judge. He’s not fit to judge a dog show never mind sit in judgement in the highest court in the land. [With sincere apologies to all dog show judges.]
We only have to look at some of his judgements surrounding Golfgate to see how unfit he is to hold such a high position. As a Supreme Court judge he felt it was acceptable to:
Party with politicians.
Break Covid 19 rules he had helped draw up.
Blame everybody else for the consequences of his bad judgements.
Furthermore, it is clear that his overweening arrogance has completely blinded him to the core reality surrounding his behaviour – the obvious requirement for his immediate resignation.
In addition to all this he has completely misread the clear signals encouraging him to take the honourable course of falling on his sword.
The first signal came from retired Supreme Court judge Susan Denham’s report when she found it would be unjust and disproportionate to call for his resignation. The key words here are ‘to call for’. Anyone not overwhelmed by their own self importance would have clearly understood the subtle message – wield the sword yourself.
Clearly, Judge Woulfe does not do subtlety so a second signal was necessary.
This occurred when the Judicial Council released the entire transcript of Woulfe’s first interview with Ms. justice Denham. This unprecedented public washing of judicial dirty laundry had the entire country cringing in embarrassment at the bizarre and abject excuses proffered by justice Woulfe.
Everybody, that is, except Woulfe himself. He seems to be genuinely puzzled by the angry response of politicians, colleagues in the judiciary and the general public.
It was time to call in the heavy gang, so to speak. Three senior judges met with Mr. Justice Woulfe to discuss how the matter could be resolved. It has been reported that the meeting did not go well, that Woulfe was shocked by the proposals they were offering to resolve the matter.
Did not go well, is, without doubt, the understatement of the year.
It is highly likely that the judges [metaphorically of course] took Woulfe by the throat, pinned him up against a wall and shouted in his face:
Resign you fool before you do any more damage to our reputation.
But still, the thickness of his skull prevented the message from getting through. Instead of recognising the brutal fact that his Supreme Court career is over, Woulfe decided to call in sick.
There is now no way back for justice Woulfe nor, indeed, the judiciary. All the dirty laundry is out there. If he is not removed or forced to resign the reputational damage to the judiciary will be enormous and permanent.
And Mr. Justice Woulfe will not primarily be responsible for that damage. His complete lack of understanding of the responsibilities and propriety expected of a Supreme Court judge has earned him a gold plated fools pass.
No, responsibility lies with the judiciary and the mainstream political parties who, over the decades, formed a relationship so close it left no room for the accountbility that is the norm in other jurisdictions.
It was inevitable, sooner or later, that a Woulfe in judges clothing would gain entry and wreak the havoc we are now witnessing.