|Pressure catches up with Judge Hoff|
|Thursday, 04 December 2008 08:19|
THE ‘unbearable pressures and loneliness of life on the bench seem to have caught up with one of the country’s respected High Court judges, Elton Hoff, who was arrested for drunk driving in the capital last week.
Hoff (52) was released on bail of N$800 at 22h00 on Friday evening shortly after his arrest.|
He was charged with contravening Section 82 of the Road Traffic and Transportation Act by driving with an excessive alcohol level.
The breathalyser tested 0.52 milligrams of alcohol level after his car was involved in an accident with two other vehicles.
A female driver of one of the vehicles is alleged to have skipped a red traffic light before crashing into the Judge’s Mercedes Benz.
The case has been postponed to 27 February 2009, when the judge is expected to appear before a magistrate.
Hoff said he could not comment on the incident as the case is sub-judice.
The lonely responsibilities of being a judge can at times become unbearable, a recent study aimed at providing stress counselling to Welsh judges has established.
The study found that the stress, to which members of the judiciary are subjected while performing their responsibilities under the glaring scrutiny of the public and the media, is more intense than in the past.
In some high-profile cases, judges can find themselves the subject of intense public and media interest.
More recently, judges have had to face the threat of violence from offenders or disgruntled litigants.
In Judge Elton Hoff’s case the ruling on the Caprivi treason trial has provoked the ire of some members of the public, some of whom attacked him in letters published in local dailies.
Gone are the days when judges spent the morning in court before adjourning for an afternoon on the golf course or a long dinner.
With their heavy workload and long backlogs of unresolved cases, judges often have to take trial papers home and spend their holidays boning up on changes in the law.
Most judges work 10 to 12 hours a day, and before court sits at 10h00, they have to settle down in the chambers and read up on cases, only to end the day preparing for the following day or writing-up judgments from previous cases.
Judges in some countries have even been offered counselling to relieve the stress that comes with their heavy workloads.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 04 December 2008 12:53|