Etiquette School is in session! > "Why would I want to do that?"

Using the line in court

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On the way to court the other day my colleague and I (we are judges) were discussing our teenage children who think everything is up for discussion. When it was time for the 17 year old defendant to give evidence my colleague who was chairing the court that day asked him to go sit in the witness chair. And his answer - "why would I want to do that".

He kept trying to argue with us during the whole trial. Not getting angry like some defendants I've seen but behaving like my 13 year old son when I try to get him to clean up his room. I just haven't seen this type of behaviour in court before but I guess todays teenagers (at least in Denmark where I live) have been brought up to think that adults need to give them a reason every time they are asked to do something.


My mind boggles.

That is truly appalling behavior.

 :o Do they not charge people with "contempt of court" in Denmark? This sounds like a perfect time to start.
(In the U.S. you can get fines and jail time for inappropriate behavior in court.)

*blink*  Wouldn't that be considered contempt of court?

We have recently abolished contempt of court. The logic was that it violated the right to a fair trial if the victim of your crime (contempt) also was the one who judged you. If someone is disruptive they can be removed. THe boy actually seemed quite intelligent. I just think he was used to arguing every time he was met with a demand. Denmark is a very egalitarian society and arguing with teachers is actively encouraged  - sometimes too much in my view - but this beats anything Ive seen yet. Usually knowing what we can do to them will make even the toughest criminal behave with some measure of respect.


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