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.


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.

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.

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