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Judiciary

Transparency and Open Justice Board

The Lady Chief Justice of England and Wales, Dame Sue Carr, has created a new Transparency and Open Justice Board.

Justice must be done, and it must be seen to be done. The public has a right to know what happens in their Courts and Tribunals.

Transparency & Open Justice Board

Chaired by High Court Judge Mr Justice Nicklin, the new board will lead and coordinate the promotion of transparency and open justice across the courts and tribunals of England & Wales.

The members of the board and an outline of its work are set out in the terms of reference that are published today. The board’s first task will be to engage widely in setting key objectives to guide its work. Thereafter, and in partnership with HMCTS and MoJ, the board will support and coordinate a programme of changes to promote transparency and open justice. The board will establish a stakeholder committee to assist in this work.

Transparency & Open Justice Board

You really must read our articles on the Sussex Family Justice Board, HHJ Farquhar and HHJ Bedford.

The Sussex Family Justice Board is a highly questionable legal cartel operating in secrecy and no accountability in Sussex.

Thankfully none of the Sussex Judiciary have been appointed to the new Transparency and Open Justice Board !

Read the reviews of Junior Sussex Barrister Gavin Howe 

“He is awful, underhanded and should not be practising law!”

and Legal 500 Junior Barrister Eleanor Battie

She is a one-woman legal A Team”

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Judiciary

Guide to Judicial Conduct and Misconduct

The Guide to Judicial Conduct – Revised July 2023, published by the judiciary, is intended to assist judges, tribunal members, coroners and magistrates, in relation to their conduct.

The Guide to Judicial Conduct, amongst other things, states that judicial office holders are expected to display diligence and care in the discharge of judicial duties.

The Guidance is based on the principle that responsibility for deciding whether or not a particular activity or course of conduct is appropriate rests with each individual judicial office holder.

The Guide is therefore not a code, nor does it contain rules other than where clearly stated. It contains a set of core principles which will help judicial office holders reach their own decisions.

In January 2023, the Lady Chief Justice and Senior President of Tribunals asked the Judicial HR committee, who are the representative body for the entire judiciary, to revise the Guide again to reflect changes in wider aspects of judicial and public life.

UK Supreme Court Guide to Judicial Conduct

The United Kingdom Supreme Court published a Guide to Judicial Conduct (2019).

Every court should have a Code of Judicial Conduct that sets out the standards of ethical conduct to be expected of the Court. Such a Code serves a number of purposes. It provides guidance to the members of the Court. It informs those who use the Court of the standards that they can reasonably expect of its judges. It explains to members of the public how judges behave and should help to secure their respect and support for the judiciary.

 Rt Hon. the Baroness Hale of Richmond DBE

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council Guide to Judicial Conduct

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council have also published a Guide to Judicial Conduct (2019).

Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO)

The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) is responsible for investigating complaints about the personal conduct of judges, as well as their professional conduct. It has the power to investigate complaints made by members of the public, legal professionals, and other judges.

The JCIO’s investigations are carried out by a team of investigators who are independent of the judiciary.

Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) Disciplinary Statements

You can check if a a judge has had any disciplinary action against them as Disciplinary statements are published on the JCIO website and are sorted by year.

The JCIO publication policy states that a statement will normally be published when a disciplinary sanction has been issued to a judicial office-holder for misconduct.

The Lady Chief Justice and Lord Chancellor may decide jointly to:

  • issue a statement in any case;
  • decline to issue a statement in any case;
  • delete a statement prior to the expiration of the relevant publication period.

Misconduct by Senior Judiciary

These people are expected to be addressed as “Your Honour”! In a real business they would have been fired ! Can you Criticise a Judge ?

Recorder Simon Myerson

“The Lady Chief Justice, with the Lord Chancellor’s agreement, has issued Recorder Simon Myerson with formal advice for misconduct after he posted inappropriately on Twitter (now known as X).”

His Honour Judge Nigel Gerald

“The Lady Chief Justice and Lord Chancellor agreed with the nominated judge that HHJ Gerald’s actions fell short of the standards expected of a judge and that his actions amounted to judicial misconduct.”

His Honour Judge Jan Luba

“The Lady Chief Justice, with the Lord Chancellor’s agreement, has issued His Honour Judge (HHJ) Jan Luba with formal advice for misconduct.”

Check out our articles on Judiciary, JCIO, HHJ Farquhar, HHJ Bedford and the highly questionable Sussex Family Justice Board.

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Judiciary

President of the King’s Bench Division

The President of the King’s Bench Division is a highly esteemed position in the United Kingdom’s judicial system.

The President of the King’s Bench Division (KBD) is responsible for the deployment and organisation of the work of the largest of the three High Court Divisions. At its full complement the King’s Bench Division has 71 High Court Judges and has the most varied jurisdiction. By the nature of the office the President is a judge of the Court of Appeal.

Current President of the King’s Bench Division

The current President of the King’s Bench Division is Dame Victoria Sharp DBE.

Dame Victoria succeeded Sir Brian Leveson and is the first woman to hold the position of President of the Queen’s Bench Division and subsequently is the first woman to hold the position of President of the King’s Bench Division.

History of the King’s Bench Division

The King’s Bench Division has a long and intricate history, tracing back to the time of William the Conqueror.

As established by the Magna Carta, the Royal Court (known as coram rege) had jurisdiction over cases heard before the king. These cases could be held anywhere the king was located, whether around the country or at Westminster. Over time, the King’s Bench became a central institution for legal proceedings, handling various matters.

The King’s Bench was merged into the High Court of Justice by the Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1873. After this merger, the King’s Bench became a division within the High Court.

Appointment

The Heads of Division are appointed by The King on the recommendation of a selection panel convened by the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC).

The selection panel comprises the Lady Chief Justice as Chair, a nominee of the Lady Chief Justice, the Chair of the JAC Helen Pitcher OBE, a lay member of the JAC and a nominee of the JAC Chair agreed with the Lady Chief Justice.

The panel reports to the Lord Chancellor, who can then accept the selection, reject it, or require the panel to reconsider. If practical the panel must consult the current holder of the office for which a selection is being made.

By law, candidates for the post must be qualified for appointment as a Lord or Lady Justice of Appeal or to be a judge of the Court of Appeal.

Check out our articles on Judiciary, President of the Family Division, HHJ Farquhar, HHJ Bedford and the highly questionable Sussex Family Justice Board.

Read the reviews of Gavin Howe Barrister

“He is awful, underhanded and should not be practising law!”

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Judiciary

Judicial Assistant at the UK Supreme Court

Every year, the UK Supreme Court invites applications for up to 11 Judicial Assistants to support the work of the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC).

Applications for the 2024/25 legal year opened on the 29th January 2024. Fixed term contracts will start on Monday 16th September 2024 and finish on Friday 1st August 2025.

The salary is £38,905 per annum (with potential for increase due in the 2024 Pay Award).

The Judicial Assistant role is intended to provide junior lawyers with a unique opportunity to work at close quarters in support of the Justices. It enables junior lawyers to see the Supreme Court and the JCPC in operation from the inside.

The Supreme Court and JCPC hear many of the most important cases of the day. The appeals are very varied and generally raise an arguable point of law of general importance, so the work is both interesting and impactful.

The Judicial Assistants have the opportunity to get to know the Justices and to see their decision-making in action. By reading the parties’ written submissions and watching the appeal hearings, the Judicial Assistants are also able to learn from some of the UK’s best advocates.

Working as a Judicial Assistant is regarded highly by law firms, chambers and other employers – our Judicial Assistants typically go on to have successful careers at the Bar, top law firms, academia, the Government Legal Department and in policy.

UK Supreme Court – Why apply to be a Judicial Assistant?
A day in the life of a Judicial Assistant at the UK Supreme Court

Each Judicial Assistant is assigned to one or more Justices. They work very closely with their assigned Justice(s) and support them by:

  • Conducting legal research on appeals and applications for permission to appeal
  • Drafting bench memos summarising applications for permission to appeal
  • Attending appeal hearings and discussing them with the Justices
  • Drafting plain English press summaries of judgments for publication on the Court’s website
  • Responding to requests for information from international judicial and comparative law networks
  • Generally assisting the Justices in their work, including with extra-judicial speeches, articles and other publications.

Judicial Assistants also get involved in the wider work of the Court. For example, they may be asked to assist the Registrar with regards to applications for permission to appeal and appeals. All Judicial Assistants get involved with the Court’s educational and outreach activity, such as student mooting competitions and debate days.

Supreme Court – What do Judicial Assistants do?
Applications for Judicial Assistants to join the UK Supreme Court 2024/25 legal year

How can I apply to be a Judicial Assistant at the Supreme Court ?

To apply to be a Judicial Assistant at the UK Supreme Court, please complete the online application form.

Closing date for applications is midnight on Sunday 31st March 2024. Please note that late applications will not be considered.

Interviews are likely to take place week commencing 20th May 2024 in person at the Supreme Court.

We recommend you should always seek formal legal advice if required, from a qualified and reputable lawyer (solicitor or barrister).

We have a number of links to Free Legal Resources and Legal Organisations on our Free Legal Advice , Legal Aid and Pro Bono pages.

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Judiciary

Chief Magistrate

The title “Chief Magistrate” holds historical and contemporary significance in various legal and governmental systems across the world.

The Senior District Judge (Chief Magistrate) of England and Wales, as they are known, has a leadership responsibility for the 300-or-so District Judges (Magistrates’ Court) (DJMCs), and Deputy DJMCs across England and Wales.

The Chief Magistrate has no authority over lay magistrates, or over the several hundreds of district judges who sit in the county courts of England and Wales.

The current Chief Magistrate of England and Wales is Senior District Judge Paul Goldspring.

The current Deputy Chief Magistrate of England and Wales is Senior Deputy District Judge Tanweer Ikram CBE.

The position of Chief Magistrate, often laden with authority and responsibility, embodies the essence of governance, justice, and leadership within a jurisdiction.

The Chief Magistrate is responsible for:

  • hearing many of the most sensitive or complex cases in the magistrates’ courts and in particular extradition and special jurisdiction cases.
  • supporting and guiding district judge (magistrates’ court) colleagues.
  • liaising with the senior judiciary and Presiding Judges on matters relating to magistrates’ courts and district judges (magistrates’ courts).

The Chief Magistrate’s Office is also responsible for arranging sittings of Deputy DJMCs across England and Wales, and managing the hearings of disciplinary adjudications in prisons. Where a disciplinary offence by a prisoner merits additional days of imprisonment, full-time district judges are deployed to prisons to hear the cases. Requests come from prisons throughout the country – a list of cases is then built up, and when a sufficient number of cases has been generated, a judge attends the prison to hear them.

Chief Magistrate Courts and Tribunal Judiciary

Controvesy

Three women convicted of terror offence for ‘celebrating’ Hamas attack on Israel by displaying images of paragliders at pro-Palestinian march were spared jail as the Deputy Chief Magistrate of England and Wales, Senior Deputy District Judge Tanweer Ikram CBE says he ‘decided not to punish’ them after ’emotions ran very high’.

For this offence, Section 13(1) of the Terrorism Act 2000 allows for :-

(a)imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months,
(b)a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, or
(c)both.

Why did the Deputy Chief Magistrate “let them off” so lightly ?

A row has broken out after a judge who decided to let three women wearing parachute images at a pro-Palestine march walk free admitted to liking a social media post branding Israel a ‘terrorist’.

Tanweer Ikram is facing calls to be investigated for a conflict of interest after he liked a LinkedIn post calling for a ‘free Palestine ‘ by a barrister who had previously promoted conspiracy theories claiming that Israel allowed the October 7 attack.

The senior district judge admitted to liking the post ‘by mistake’ three weeks ago, but was told by the Judicial Office that the matter would not be investigated further.

Daily Mail – Senior Deputy District Judge Tanweer Ikram

History of the Chief Magistrate

From ancient times to modern democracies, the chief magistrate has played a pivotal role in upholding the rule of law, ensuring the administration of justice, and maintaining social order.

Historically, the term “magistrate” finds its roots in ancient Rome, where magistrates held considerable power in the Roman Republic.

They were responsible for the administration of justice, overseeing public ceremonies, and enforcing laws. The chief magistrate, known as the “consul,” was the highest-ranking official elected to lead the republic for a term of one year. Their authority was balanced by the Senate and other governmental bodies, reflecting a system of checks and balances.

When the first Chief Magistrate began sitting at Bow Street in 1735, the title wasn’t confusing at all – at the time, magistrates in London were paid judicial office-holders, and magistrates’ courts in London were presided over by Metropolitan Stipendiary Magistrates.  All magistrates – paid and unpaid – are Justices of the Peace. Nowadays the word magistrate is more commonly used for the unpaid judicial office holders, also commonly known as JPs.

Early holders of the post also had responsibility for the Bow Street Runners, until they were replaced by the Metropolitan Police in the 19th century.

Chief Magistrate’s Office

The Chief Magistrate’s Office provides administrative support both to the Chief Magistrate and to district judges sitting at all the magistrates’ courts in England and Wales.

The Chief Magistrate’s Office is based at:

181 Marylebone Road
London
NW1 5BR

DX 120551, Marylebone 9

Email addresses:

Chief Magistrates’ Office enquiries mailbox: CMO.Enquiries@Justice.gov.uk

Judicial Deployment mailbox: gl-cmo.ddjdeployment@Justice.gov.uk

Independent Adjudication mailbox : gl-ind.adjudication@Justice.gov.uk

Chief Magistrate’s Office
ContactPosition
Paul GoldspringSenior District Judge (Chief Magistrate)
Tanweer Ikram CBEDeputy Senior District Judge (Deputy Chief Magistrate)
Stephen SmithPA and Business Support to the Senior District (Chief Magistrate) and Deputy Senior District (Chief Magistrate)
Claire-Louise ManningLegal Adviser and Researcher for the Chief Magistrate
Rahat SiddiqiDelivery Manager
Khalilur RahmanAdmin officer – Deployment Section
Jabir AhmedAdmin officer – Deployment Section
Karen JenningsTeam Leader – Prison Section
Karolina ZukauskaiteAdmin officer – Prison Section
Gold Fax 01264 887 396
Contacts at the Chief Magistrates Office

We recommend you should always seek formal legal advice if required, from a qualified and reputable lawyer (solicitor or barrister).

We have a number of links to Free Legal Resources and Legal Organisations on our Free Legal Advice , Legal Aid and Pro Bono pages.

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Judiciary

Solicitor General

The Solicitor General is the second law officer of the Crown in the United Kingdom, after the Attorney General. The role of the Solicitor General is to assist the Attorney General in their legal duties and responsibilities, and to act as their deputy in their absence.

The Solicitor General is also responsible for representing the government in court, and for providing legal advice to government departments and agencies. In addition, the Solicitor General works closely with the Attorney General on a range of legal issues, including the development of legal policy and the administration of justice.

The current Solicitor General of the United Kingdom is Robert Courts MP KC. He was appointed to the role on the 22nd January 2024. Robert read law at the University of Sheffield.

The Solicitor General is appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister, and is usually a member of the government. The Solicitor General is also a Member of Parliament and can participate in parliamentary debates and proceedings.

Solicitor General Salary

The Solicitor General is entitled to a salary of £62,368 but claims £57,962 according to Salaries of members of His Majesty’s Government: April 2022 (HTML)

This is addition to the basic annual salary for an MP from 1 April 2022 which is £84,144 according to Pay and expenses for MPs.

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Judiciary

Lady Chief Justice

The Lady Chief Justice is the most senior judge in England and Wales, and is responsible for the administration of justice.

Dame Sue Carr was sworn in as the first Lady Chief Justice of England and Wales on the 1st October 2023.

His Majesty The King has been pleased to approve the appointment of Dame Sue Carr as the Lady Chief Justice of England and Wales from 1 October 2023. This appointment follows the retirement of The Rt Hon. the Lord Burnett of Maldon on 30 September 2023.

Dame Sue Carr was called to the Bar in 1987. As a barrister she specialised in general commercial law and took silk in 2003. She became Chair of the Professional Negligence Bar Association in 2007, Chair of the Bar Standards Board Conduct Committee in 2008, and was appointed as the Complaints Commissioner to the International Criminal Court in the Hague in 2011.

Her judicial career began in 2009 in crime, when she became a Recorder. She was appointed to the High Court, Queen’s Bench Division in 2013, and became a nominated Judge of the Commercial Court and the Technology and Construction Court in 2014. In the same year she became a member of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal until 2016. She became a Presider of the Midland Circuit in 2016 until 2020, when she was appointed as a Lady Justice of Appeal. In the same year she was also appointed as the senior Judicial Commissioner and Vice Chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission, a position she held until January 2023.

Dame Sue Carr was educated at Wycombe Abbey School and read law at Trinity College Cambridge.

Appointment of Lord Chief Justice: 15 June 2023 gov.uk

The role of The Lady Chief Justice (LCJ) is to oversee the judiciary and ensure that the courts operate efficiently and effectively. This position is a vital one in the legal system, and the Lady Chief Justice plays a significant role in upholding the rule of law in England and Wales.

The Lady Chief Justice is also President of all the Courts of England and Wales. The Lady Chief Justice sits in both the Criminal and Civil divisions of the Court of Appeal, in the Divisional Court and also, by invitation, in the UK Supreme Court.

Under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, the Lady Chief Justice (LCJ) has some 400 statutory (required by law) duties. The LCJ’s key responsibilities include:

  • Representing the views of the judiciary of England and Wales to Parliament and Government.
  • The welfare, training and guidance of the judiciary of England and Wales. The Lord Chief Justice discusses with Government the provision of resources for the judiciary, which are allotted by the Lord Chancellor.
  • The deployment of judges and allocation of work in courts in England and Wales.
Lady Chief Justice Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

You may also be interested in our article on the Lord Chief Justice, Master of the Rolls and the Lord Chancellor.

History of the Lord/Lady Chief Justice

The history of the Lord Chief Justice dates back to the 12th century, when the office of the Chief Justiciar was established in England. This office was responsible for overseeing the administration of justice in the country, and was considered the most important legal office in the land.

Over time, the role of the Chief Justiciar evolved, and in 1234, the office of the Lord Chief Justice was established by King Henry III. This new position was created to provide greater independence and authority to the judiciary, and to ensure that justice was administered fairly and impartially.

The Lord Chief Justice is appointed by the King on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. The appointment is made from a list of candidates prepared by an independent panel of legal experts. The Lord Chief Justice holds the position for a fixed term of five years, after which he or she may be re-appointed for another term.

The Lord Chief Justice has a number of important responsibilities. These include presiding over the Court of Appeal, which is the second highest court in the land, and overseeing the High Court and the Crown Court. The Lord Chief Justice also plays a key role in the development of the law, and is responsible for ensuring that the judiciary is properly trained and equipped to handle the complex legal issues that arise in the modern world.

One of the key functions of the Lord Chief Justice is to ensure that justice is administered fairly and impartially. This means that the Lord Chief Justice must be independent of political influence, and must make decisions based solely on the evidence presented in court. The Lord Chief Justice is also responsible for ensuring that the court system operates efficiently and effectively, and that the rights of defendants and victims are protected.

The Lord Chief Justice is assisted in his or her duties by a team of judges, including the Lord Justice of Appeal and the High Court judges. These judges are responsible for hearing cases and making judgments in accordance with the law. The Lord Chief Justice also works closely with the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General’s office to ensure that the legal system operates effectively and efficiently.

In addition to his or her legal duties, the Lord Chief Justice also plays an important role in promoting the legal profession and upholding the principles of justice and fairness. The Lord Chief Justice is often called upon to speak publicly on legal issues, and to represent the legal profession in national and international forums. The Lord Chief Justice is also responsible for ensuring that the legal profession maintains high ethical standards, and that lawyers and judges act with integrity and professionalism at all times.

The role of the Lord Chief Justice is a complex and demanding one, and requires a deep understanding of the law and the legal system. The Lord Chief Justice must be able to balance the demands of the legal profession with the needs of society, and must be able to make difficult decisions in the face of complex legal issues. The Lord Chief Justice must also be able to work closely with other members of the judiciary, as well as with government officials, to ensure that the legal system operates smoothly and effectively.

In recent years, the role of the Lord Chief Justice has become even more important, as the legal system has become more complex and the demands on the judiciary have increased. The Lord Chief Justice must be able to adapt to changing circumstances, and to ensure that the legal system remains effective in the face of new challenges and developments.

As Lady Chief Justice, Dame Carr is responsible for overseeing the administration of justice in England and Wales, and for ensuring that the legal system operates fairly and efficiently. She also plays an important role in promoting the independence and integrity of the judiciary, and in ensuring that judges and lawyers maintain high ethical standards.

In addition to his role as Lady Chief Justice, Carr also serves as a member of the Privy Council. She is widely respected for his legal expertise and her commitment to upholding the rule of law, and is regarded as one of the most influential legal figures in the UK today.

Appointment and Selection Process

The appointment of the Lord/Lady Chief Justice is made by His Majesty The King on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Lord Chancellor following the recommendation of an independent selection panel chaired by Helen Pitcher OBE, Chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission . The other members were Lord Lloyd-Jones of the Supreme Court,  Sue Hoyle OBE and Sarah Lee (lay and professional members of the Judicial Appointments Commission), and Lord Justice Edis (Senior Presiding Judge).

This selection exercise was run under the relevant sections of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 as amended by the Crime and Courts Act 2013. In accordance with section 70 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, as amended by the Crime and Courts Act 2013, the panel determined the selection process to be followed and consulted the Lord Chancellor and the First Minister of Wales on the process followed.

In accordance with s.10(3) of the Senior Courts Act 1981 c.54, the selection exercise was open to all applicants who satisfied the judicial-appointment eligibility condition on a 7-year basis, or were judges of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, or High Court.

Given the challenges of reducing the outstanding caseloads across jurisdictions and the drive for modernisation across the Courts and Tribunals, candidates were expected to be able to serve for at least 4 years.

Appointment of Lord Chief Justice: 15 June 2023 gov.uk

Conclusion

The Lady Chief Justice is a vital figure in the English legal system, and plays a crucial role in upholding the principles of justice and fairness. The Lady Chief Justice is responsible for overseeing the administration of justice in England and Wales, and for ensuring that the legal system operates efficiently and effectively.

The Lady Chief Justice is also responsible for promoting the legal profession, and for ensuring that lawyers and judges maintain high ethical standards. This is an important role, as the legal profession plays a key role in upholding the rule of law and protecting the rights of individuals.

The Lady Chief Justice is an impartial figure, who must make decisions based solely on the evidence presented in court. This means that the Lady Chief Justice must be independent of political influence, and must be able to make difficult decisions in the face of complex legal issues.

One of the most important functions of the Lady Chief Justice is to oversee the development of the law. The Lady Chief Justice plays a key role in shaping the law, and in ensuring that the legal system remains relevant and effective in the face of new challenges and developments.

The Lady Chief Justice is also responsible for ensuring that the judiciary is properly trained and equipped to handle the complex legal issues that arise in the modern world. This means that the Lady Chief Justice must work closely with other members of the judiciary, as well as with government officials, to ensure that the legal system remains effective and efficient.

We recommend you should always seek formal legal advice if required, from a qualified and reputable lawyer (solicitor or barrister).

We have a number of links to Free Legal Resources and Legal Organisations on our Free Legal Advice , Legal Aid and Pro Bono pages.

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Judiciary

Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman (JACO)

The Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman (JACO) is a UK government organisation that provides an independent review of complaints about the conduct of judicial office holders and the judicial appointments process.

JACO works with the Ministry of Justice and can look into complaints about how investigating bodies have handled allegations of misconduct by judicial office holders, as well as complaints about the judicial appointments process1.

Here’s what JACO does:-

Judicial Conduct Complaints

If someone is not satisfied with how a complaint about a judge, magistrate, tribunal member, or coroner was handled, they can apply to JACO. The complaint must have already been considered by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office, tribunal president, or magistrates’ advisory committee.

For judicial conduct investigations process complaints, the JACO are responsible for:

  • considering complaints about the judicial conduct investigations process
  • asking the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office, a tribunal president, or magistrates’ advisory committee to re-investigate a complaint where appropriate
  • recommending changes to procedure in order to prevent the same issue from happening again
  • proposing that compensation be paid if we believe that a complainant has suffered because of maladministration

JACO Judicial Conduct Complaint Form

Complete the JACO judicial conduct complaint form to ask the Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman to look into the handling of a complaint about judicial conduct.

Judicial Appointment Complaints

JACO also looks at how complaints about the judicial appointments process are handled.

For judicial appointment complaints, the JACO are responsible for:

JACO Judicial Appointment Complaint Form

Complete the JACO judicial appointment complaint form to ask the Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman to look into the handling of a complaint about judicial appointment.

Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman

The current Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman is Douglas Marshall. If you need to contact JACO, their email address is headofoffice@judicialombudsman.gov.uk

Office of the Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman
Postal Point 1.55
1st Floor, the Tower
102 petty France
London
SW1H 9AJ
United Kingdom

JACO Important Information

It’s important to note that JACO cannot help with a court or tribunal case, investigate a judicial office holder, or say whether their actions amount to misconduct. They also cannot reopen a court or tribunal case, review a judge’s decision, reprimand the office holder, remove them from office, or force anyone to pay compensation. However, they can recommend an apology, compensation for any loss suffered, or changes to the judicial complaint process.

JACO Decisions

The ombudsman’s decision is final and cannot be appealed against. For more detailed information, you can visit the official JACO website.

Check out our articles on HHJ FarquharHHJ Bedford and the highly questionable Sussex Family Justice Board.

We recommend you should always seek formal legal advice if required, from a qualified and reputable lawyer (solicitor or barrister).

We have a number of links to Free Legal Resources and Legal Organisations on our Free Legal Advice , Legal Aid and Pro Bono pages.

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Senior President of Tribunals

The Senior President of Tribunals is the independent and statutory leader of the tribunal judiciary. The office of the Senior President of Tribunals is independent of both the Executive and the Chief Justices, and was established under the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007.

Just as the Lady Chief Justice heads the judiciary in England and Wales, the Senior President heads the tribunals judiciary, although his remit extends to Scotland and Northern Ireland depending on the jurisdiction concerned (Immigration and Asylum as well as Tax are UK-wide).

The Senior President of Tribunals provides leadership for around 5,000 office-holders., all those within the First-tier and Upper Tribunals and the Employment Tribunals. This includes all the Chamber Presidents and their Tribunal Judges and members, as well as those within Employment Tribunals in England and Wales and their Scottish counterpart, and the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

The Senior President has a number of statutory responsibilities. These include representing the views of tribunals judiciary to the Lord Chancellor, parliament and ministers.

Check out our articles on HHJ FarquharHHJ Bedford and the highly questionable Sussex Family Justice Board.

We recommend you should always seek formal legal advice if required, from a qualified and reputable lawyer (solicitor or barrister).

We have a number of links to Free Legal Resources and Legal Organisations on our Free Legal Advice , Legal Aid and Pro Bono pages.

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His Honour Judge Michael Slater

His Honour Judge Michael Slater, fell asleep during a trial and was subsequently investigated by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office who issued a disciplinary statement on the 29th August 2023.

HHJ Michael Slater, a barrister, was appointed to be a circuit judge in November 2016 and deployed to the north eastern circuit, based at Sheffield Combined Court.

STATEMENT FROM THE JUDICIAL CONDUCT
INVESTIGATIONS OFFICE

His Honour Judge Michael Slater

A spokesperson for the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office said:

The Lord Chief Justice, with the Lord Chancellor’s agreement, has issued His Honour Judge Michael Slater with formal advice for misconduct after he was found to have fallen asleep in court during a hearing.

The Guide to Judicial Conduct reminds judges that they are expected to display diligence and care in the discharge of their duties. Judges are expected to ensure that their conduct maintains and enhances public confidence in the judiciary.

Following an investigation carried out under the Judicial Conduct (Judicial and other office holders) Rules 2014, a nominated judge found that HHJ Slater’s behaviour amounted to misconduct and recommended that he should be issued with formal advice.

In making their recommendation, the nominated judge took into account that HHJ Slater had accepted the allegation and apologised, that he was under a great deal of pressure dealing with an unremitting workload, and that his actions had not derailed the trial. They also took into account that HHJ Slater addressed the matter with parties in court and offered them a retrial, though neither party chose to take this up.

Having considered the facts of the case, the Lord Chief Justice and Lord Chancellor agreed with the nominated judge that HHJ Slater’s actions amounted to judicial misconduct and that the appropriate disciplinary sanction is formal advice.

STATEMENT FROM THE JUDICIAL CONDUCT INVESTIGATIONS OFFICE  His Honour Judge Michael Slater
His Honour Judge SlaterNorth East15-11-2016
His Honour Judge Slater Appointment date

According to a Law Gazette article Judge with ‘unremitting workload’ fell asleep during trial published on the 30th August 2023, HHJ Slater fell asleep during a trial. No details were given by the JCIO of what the case was about, when it was heard or for how long the judge fell asleep.

A list of all Circuit Judges is published on the Courts and Tribunal Judiciary website.

Check out our articles on Dodgy JudgesHis Honour Now His Dishonour, HHJ FarquharHHJ Bedford and the highly dubious Sussex Family Justice Board.

We have a number of links to Free Legal Resources and Legal Organisations on our Free Legal Advice , Legal Aid and Pro Bono pages.

Read our review of Gavin Howe Barrister

“He is awful, underhanded and should not be practising law!”

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