Bye bye, Dubai: Why two former top judges quit their lucrative Gulf gig

Following days of growing criticism in legal circles, Frank Clarke and Peter Kelly stepped down from the posts they had just taken up in one of Dubai’s top courts. But the whole episode has shone a spotlight on what judges do in retirement, and why some want to remain involved in the legal business

Frank Clarke: the former chief justice told Law on Trial, the Business Post’s legal affairs podcast, in March about his appointment to the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts, referring to his role as ‘another one of my jobs’. Picture: RollingNews

Less than seven days after two of Ireland’s most senior retired judges were seen in awkwardly angled videocall photos posted by an Emirati sheikh on Twitter, the pair had quit the gigs that were the subject of the call. If a week is a long time in politics, it has been shown to be an eternity in the judicial world.

Frank Clarke, the former chief justice, and Peter Kelly, the former High Court president, appeared, ...