"Of course there won't be any hard feelings, if you report me."
The Lord Chief Justice has urged barristers to report rude judges, stating that it wouldn't be held against them.
Lord Burnett of Maldon was addressing the Bar Council conference, when chair Mark Fenhalls KC asked how barristers should deal with judges who stepped out of line, the Gazette reported.
The Lord Chief Justice said that while there had always been difficult judges in the profession, there was less "tolerance for rudeness" these days. He noted that in the past, barristers would respond "with a shrug of the shoulders" and move on; but that approach "is no longer appropriate."
Lord Burnett said there were many different ways for barristers to call out improper behaviour by judges: from raising the issue informally; starting a grievance procedure; or "if the person concerned about it feels the behaviour is very, very bad, there is a judicial complaints system."
The Lord Chief Justice said that although lawyers might be concerned about raising a complaint about a judge, he believed it would not be held against them: "It is much better to deal with the problem at an early stage rather than let them grow and fester".
Lord Burnett's comments follow his recent announcement that judges will receive training to ensure they don't behave inappropriately, after a review revealed bullying, discrimination and harassment in the judiciary.
"Training and dissemination of good behaviour, and the need for there to be constant discussion about this" was needed to "minimise" incidents.
He noted that while judges are "under a great deal of pressure", he stressed the need for inappropriate behaviour to be dealt with and not tolerated.