A “festival of mendacity”; telling the truth no more than a “lifestyle choice”

25 May 2018 by

Rashid v. Munir et al, Turner J, High Court, Leeds, 22 May 2018 – read judgment here

I promise you that this post will be entirely GDPR-free, despite its date.

Judges go about saying people are lying in different ways, from the tip-toeing around the idea of deceit to the full-blooded blast. This judgment, and that from which it is an appeal, are towards the latter end of the spectrum.

I welcome this frankness; if you, a judge, think that someone is telling you a tissue of lies, then you should say so in terms.

Neither judge held back, as we shall see. Enjoy.

The case was a fight between 4 brothers over the business empire left to them by their father. The claimant (C) had fallen out with the other 3, and brought proceedings to establish (1) his share, and (2) his entitlement to some rents due from the commonly held properties. The first-instance judge found for the C on (1), but against him on (2). C appealed (2).

The background was not conducive to judicial sympathy. The businesses were “fiscally clandestine” – the

details of the operation and profitability of which were but lightly touched upon in the tax returns of the defendants.

The issue on the distribution of profits from the businesses depended on the common intention of the parties. The judge at first instance had found that it was not the common intention that C receive a share of the rents.

But his task was rendered somewhat difficult because he found that the evidence of all of them was “utterly dishonest”.

So, running through the parties before him, the judge said about C

I do not believe him on this or indeed any other material matter.

that 1D gave some evidence which

 was, I am sure, untruthful.

2D did no better:

On any view, the second defendant was egregiously dishonest…”.and “in his evidence was…as heroically dishonest as he is in his everyday life.

But 3D took the biscuit: he

 gave evidence in a facetious manner, including winking at the claimant’s counsel at one stage, a manner which revealed to me that he regards telling the truth as simply no more than a lifestyle choice.

Turner J, on appeal, did not hold back. As he remarked, it is difficult enough to trying to establish the common but stated intention of people giving honest but conflicting evidence. But

Where, as here, each witness is attempting to outdo the other in a rich display of competitive dishonesty the task of the judge is unenviable.

Turner J thought the judge came to the right conclusion, which

fully reflected what little objective fact he could salvage from the tangled web of deceit which the parties had so enthusiastically weaved when giving their evidence

Conclusion

I am glad to say that it has happened but rarely to me, but you really do know that you have come well second in a case, when not only is your client’s claim dismissed, but also the judge says it should be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions – typically for investigation as to whether your client has been guilty of perjury.

This is what the first-instance judge did. This does not seem to have been done, so C was perhaps pushing his luck when he appealed. Turner J checked, found that no reference to the DPP had been made, and as he concluded,

That is an omission which this Court intends to put right.

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3 comments


  1. This Judge was fooled by a fake-crying relative and did everything that she cried for only for it to backfire and this Judge now refuses to accept fault, dismisses my application, lies and and runs away while Appeal Judges believes all the LIES and dismisses my application as well. Where is the Justice and Human Rights in the UK?

  2. Squawkparrot says:

    Judges either do not do their job (which is in itself lying as we should expect our judges to do this as a minimum) or lie directly, and have done so on slightly more that half of the occasions I have presented a case before them. I do not mean making errors of fact over dates or getting names wrong etc but, substantial “errors” in contradiction to the written and documented evidence and the contradictions by the other party. I’ve have judges who have clearly not read witness statements and because of that have called a party dishonest when writing up their judgments contrary to the evidence. Yet, one has to dance around these “errors”/lies, trying to find errors of law and significant errors of fact that the appeal judge can be bothered with. Appeal judges do not want to bring the administration of justice into disrepute by calling out judges for their “errors” or what more properly should be labelled lies. That leaves the individual unable to trust the administration of justice. It is not like playing roulette, it is more like the house fixing the game sometimes based on prejudice or some other legal irrelevance.

    To ensure that I was not seeing things that where not there, after one case I commissioned a opinion for a specialist legal cousel, costing me £2,400.00. The writer stopped short of calling the judges dishonest, but came as close as he could, without breaching his code of conduct, i.e. by bringing the administration of justice into disrepute. The opinion was damning of the judges’ work.

  3. How about when the Judge has Abused her Powers and LIED upon my questiong her??

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