Being a trial judge sometimes can be a challenge. Managing our emotions can be challenging. Managing other people’s emotions presents another layer of challenge.
Sometimes we do things that are not intended or not carefully thought out. Judge Wayne Gorman shared a case which provides a summary of where any of us can get in trouble:
R. v. Murray, 2017 ONCA 393, May 17, 2017, at paragraph 94:
The principal types of intervention that attract appellate disapprobation include, but are not limited to:
i. questioning an accused or witnesses in such a way as to convey an impression that the judge aligns him or herself with the case for the Crown;
ii. questioning witnesses in such a way as to make it impossible for counsel to present the defence case;
iii. intervening to such an extent in the testimony of the accused that it prevents the accused from telling his or her story; and
iv. inviting the jury to disbelieve the accused or other defence witnesses.