England: Judges faces ‘torrent of personal abuse’ online

Lord Burnett of Maldon

Lord Burnett of Maldon

Online abuse directed at members of the judiciary runs the risk of undermining the rule of law, the most senior judge in England and Wales has said.

Lord Burnett of Maldon said there are “a growing number of cases where judges are threatened and physically abused”, The Times Brief reports.

He added: “Some is calculated to intimidate judges individually or collectively. Such abuse is capable of undermining the rule of law. Judicial independence and impartiality is at the heart of the rule of law.”

However, Lord Burnett said he thought abuse could be tackled by improving public understanding of what judges do.

He said judges “work incredibly hard making important, often life-changing decisions, day in, day out, in difficult circumstances”.

Lord Burnett added that judges “should not be immune from criticism for their decisions, but fair criticism is different from abuse”.