Recent thoughts of the formal investigations that we have referred to on this blog prompted our curiosity to find out more as to the whereabouts of the judges who acted as chairmen in those unfortunate inquiries.
Sir David Steel, for instance, is no longer judge at the Commercial and Admiralty Courts in London. David Steel was involved twice with the FV Gaul: first in a partisan position as lawyer for the Insurance Company, then in a neutral position as chairman of the 2004 RFI.
Although not yet arrived at the age when, as a poet said, passions relax their hold, or when expired judges are customarily wheeled out of HM’s Courts, in October 2011, Sir David Steel quietly left his judicial position and returned to the bar in a less demanding, though no less cushy role of Arbitrator at 10 Fleet Street. Simultaneously, he was also appointed Appeal Arbitrator for the London insurance market. Quite surprising!!! The commercial literature advertising the nobleman’s services now refers to Sir David Steel in terms of “the retired judge”.
The other honourable judge, Sir David Young – the former Sheriff Principal of Grampian, Highland and Islands – who presided over the more recent public inquiry into the sinking of FV Trident has also left his judicial position early, that is immediately after the conclusion of the Trident inquiry.
Justice Anthony Coleman, who chaired the MV Derbyshire investigation, in his turn, left the High Court in 2001, immediately after the MV Derbyshire inquiry had ended, and set out to the Czech Republic to advise the Ministry of Justice there on procedure with a view to the Czech Republic’s accession to the EU. Sir Anthony Colman then went on to become an International Arbitrator for that temple of austerity which is the Dubai International Financial Centre.
So, all these three former inquiry chairmen are no longer judges. The Brotherhood, it seems, has its own, discreet code of honour. Still, we are left with the feeling that these three judges fared far better than the victims of their judgments. This is Britain today – long live the Queen!
More to come