It's a simple question, "What happens when a judge is a paedophile?" but it's not a question that has received much discussion in public. At least, if it's been discussed I'm not aware of it.
This isn't a purely hypothetical question, since I know of long-standing allegations of paedophilia about at least one senior member of the judiciary who is still alive.
Let's suppose, hypothetically, that in some sense the paedophile judge is caught.
What happens next? Historically, at least as far as the public is concerned, nothing.
But if the judge has been caught then it's very likely that the Police know. And if the Police know then it would be very surprising if MI5 wasn't told by Special Branch.
Then the situation is likely something like this. The judge is a paedophile. The Police know he is a paedophile. MI5 know he is a paedophile.
But they all agree, explicitly or tacitly, to say nothing publicly.
The judge is in an exquisitely difficult position. His (it's usually his) career and reputation are on the line.
Do his MI5 handlers instruct him to stop his paedophile activities?
That seems a sensible course but what happens if the judge just can't stop? Do the Police and MI5 cover up for him?
I suspect they do. And I suspect they have.
And what happens when an important case comes before the paedophile judge in whose outcome either the Police or MI5 have an important interest?
Do the Police or MI5 imply improper pressure? In other words, do the Police or MI5 blackmail the judge with the aim of his assisting them in achieving a desired outcome?
Will the judge agree to, in effect, pervert the course of justice?
Can the paedophile judge afford to act honestly?
He can't "go public" since his paedophilia would inevitably be disclosed and his career and reputation would be ruined.
So what does he do?
I suspect that he applies his intelligence and knowledge of the Law to produce an outcome which suits his Police or MI5 handlers.
If the judge is anything other than crass in the way he does this then he'll likely get away with it.
There is, so far as I'm aware, no mechanism to review whether a judge has acted corruptly in such a way.
If he's been careless and not got the Law quite right the worst case scenario is that his corrupt decision will be overturned on appeal, and his public reputation will remain unscathed, with minor bruising to his reputation regarding his mastery of the Law.
And the judge goes on judging, no doubt with glowing reports about his/her unimpeachable reputation.
And that, I suspect, has happened.
As I said earlier I believe it is not merely a hypothetical possibility.
Whether or not I'm right that it has happened nobody, I suggest, can exclude the possibility that any individual judge is a current or past paedophile.
Noboby, I suggest, can exclude the possibility in any individual case that this scenario is playing out with the public blissfully unaware that a judge is perverting the course of justice.
An unimpeachable reputation may mean no more than that the paedophile judge hasn't been exposed yet.
If you know how such a possibility, of a paedophile judge perverting the course of justice, can safely be excluded let me know.
It seems to me the UK Child Abuse Inquiry will need to examine questions of such complexity.
Will the Inquiry be up to the task? Isn't that an interesting question?