The judge who fell asleep [study]

When a judge falls asleep in the courtroom, sometimes people are alert enough to notice – and then word gets out to the public. That’s happened often enough for two doctors to decide to do something. What they did was to gather news reports about slumbering judges, write a paper about those reports, and then submit it for publication in the medical journal Sleep.

Dr Ronald Grunstein [pictured here] of the Royal Prince Alfred hospital in Sydney, Australia, and Dr Dev Banerjee of Birmingham Heartlands hospital in the UK saw their judgefilled-but-not-judgmental treatise appear in print in 2007. The headline was The Case of Judge Nodd and Other Sleeping Judges – Media, Society, and Judicial Sleepiness.”

Grunstein and Banerjee tell of 15 cases, one in Australia, one in the UK, one in Canada, 10 in that sometimes slumbering giant the US, and one at the international war crimes tribunal at The Hague….

So begins this week’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian.