November 1st, 2010
09:37 AM ET

Who you calling 'mate?' Not this Aussie judge

A judge in Ipswich, Australia, briefly jailed a defendant last week in a move one city councilman says is just un-Australian.

In a hearing in Ipswich Magistrates Court, Thomas John Collins, facing charges of drunken driving, driving without a license and driving an unregistered, uninsured vehicle, addressed Magistrate Matthew McLaughlin as “mate.”

“I'm not mate... I'm sir or your honor,” McLaughlin told Collins, according to a report in the Queensland Times.

“Okay, mate,” Collins replied.

McLaughlin ordered Collins held for contempt in the courthouse lockup, where he spent about a half-hour before coming back to court and apologizing. His next hearing is November 12.

Ipswich city Councilor Paul Tully said McLaughlin needs to lighten up, according to a report in the The Courier-Mail.

Nothing is “more Australian than calling someone mate," Tully said. “Calling someone mate is a term of endearment."The councilor said the handling of Collins’ case marked the second time recently a Queensland magistrate had someone detained for a minor transgression. In August, another magistrate ordered two men working on courthouse refurbishments sent to the courthouse lockup for an hour for making too much noise while doing their work.

Tully called on Queensland’s chief magistrate to introduce anger management classes for those on the bench.

"I say to every magistrate – Come on mate, get off your high horse and show some tolerance," Tully said.

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Filed under: Australia • Judge • Justice
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. osama bin diesel

    Dude , where's my news ?

    November 1, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. LoL

    Am I the only one who thinks it's funny that Australia has a criminal court system?

    No offense mate.

    November 1, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lir

      Indeed. How ironic.

      November 1, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Klm

    who fuking cares!

    November 1, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tom

    Saying "mate" is like saying "brother" ... while it is a respectful term, it lacks a sense of hierarchy and therefore fails to be respectful in context of authority.

    November 1, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. phil

    @LoL....it is kinda funny. Hey? wasn't australia settled by banished brit criminals? It must of been like a grown-up version of Lord of the Flies. oops! I forgot to make a big A for australia. dang it! i did it again.

    November 1, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. BajaJohn

    This judge is too sober.

    November 1, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. thomas

    I think the judge over reacted,I mean where is it in the law books that says you have to say yes sir to a judge,Or address him as your honor? Its only common courtesy.

    November 1, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. sissy

    This would be like calling a female judge in the U.S "babe". Not likely going to put you on their good side.

    November 1, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oh please!

      has a different connotation not the same thing: mate vs babe?

      November 1, 2010 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dave v.G

    I would never call a magistrate mate, nor would I call him Sir or Your Honour, he is no better than anyone else. I would have found out his name and referred to him as Mr ?????

    November 2, 2010 at 2:57 am | Report abuse |
  10. flono

    whatever! next breaking news will be with word "DUDE"

    November 2, 2010 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
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    This information quickly talks about the inspection steps necessary to determine their education regarding repairs that should be done on a employed Parker regal guide floor grinder.Office Refurbishments London

    February 14, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
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