“IT IS INAPPROPRIATE FOR JUDGES THESE DAYS TO BE EMAILING ADVOCATES ASKING THEM TO UNDERTAKE TASKS AT THE WEEKEND”: PART OF A JUDGMENT
There is much of interest in the judgment of HHJ Carter in N (A Child) (Termination of children’s guardian)  EWFC B16, a case that may well be of considerable interest to family lawyers. Here I want to concentrate on one single element of the judgment, relating to sending emails to advocates.
The judge was considering the removal of a guardian in family proceedings. The guardian had written, unprompted, to a partner in a firm of solicitors who were acting in a matter. That partner was not involved in the case itself. Ultimately the judge removed the guardian. It is clear that there was a spurt of activity with documents being sent to the judge over the weekend.
THE JUDGE’S OBSERVATIONS
The judge corresponded with the advocates, however delayed the sending of the email.
As I set out in that email, I delayed the sending of it until 7am in the morning. In my view, it is inappropriate for Judges these days to be emailing advocates asking them to undertake tasks at the weekend, such as sending documents which have not been sent to the court. It is, of course, still relatively routine for Judges to be emailed documents over the weekend, but in my view that falls into a slightly different category as that is often done by self-employed people working at times that suit them, and indeed there is no compunction on the court to read them.