Spanish Judge


There was so much interesting news last week that it’s taken me the whole weekend to catch up! One of the most interesting stories I saw over the last few days was this one on the BBC News website. It was interesting for two reasons. Firstly, it is unusual to see a judge sitting in a different seat to usual in the courtroom. Secondly, there was a lot of interesting legal and political vocabulary in the article.

The first interesting word is in the first paragraph where it is mentioned that he overreached his ‘judicial‘ powers. ‘Judicial‘ is a great adjective meaning things related to a court of law and particularly to a judge.

The next interesting word is in the second paragraph where the author mentions Gen Francisco Franco’s ‘four-decade‘ rule.  Here are some more words related to periods of time:

  • decade – 10 years
  • century – 100 years
  • millennium – 1000 years

In the next paragraph, the author mentions a ‘right-wing‘ group. This is how we use the words ‘left‘, ‘right‘ and ‘centre‘ related to political opinions:

  • left – power and wealth should be shared evenly between everyone
  • right – more traditional opinions including low taxes, private ownership of property and services, and no or minimal help for the poor
  • centre – a compromise between the two

Most modern political parties are not extreme enough to be described as purely ‘left‘ or ‘right‘ so we use the expressions ‘centre-left‘ and ‘centre-right‘ to describe them.

There’s another interesting word in this paragraph where it is mentioned that the judge exceeded his official ‘remit‘. In this situation, his ‘remit‘ is the area over which he has responsibility or control.

Slightly later in the article, the author mentions a ‘blaze of publicity‘. This is a really nice, descriptive way to talk about a situation where which is made known to the public very effectively using the mass media. I explained another similar expression in this previous article.

There’s yet another interesting expression in this paragraph, too:

But the inquiry was shelved following opposition from state prosecutors and his fellow judges.

When we talk about ‘shelving‘ an  inquiry, we mean stopping it at the stage it is at. Sometimes, an inquiry that has been ‘shelved‘ will be continued at a future date but normally it is not returned to.

The last expression I would like to look at is later in the article when Miguel Bernad is quoted as saying:

It is the first step for the processing of the superstar Baltasar Garzon who believed himself above the law,

If someone is ‘above the law‘ then the laws of that particular country or state do not apply to him or can’t be enforced upon him.

What’s the most interesting news article you read over the weekend?

Today’s image is by Stephen Stacey.