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Judiciary: Criminal Records

Volume 502: debated on Thursday 10 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many and what proportion of members of the judiciary have a criminal record; and how many members of the judiciary have been dismissed for committing a criminal offence in each of the last 10 years. (305785)

No record is kept of the number or proportion of the judiciary who have a criminal record.

The judicial appointment process requires candidates to be of good character. Applicants are required to declare their criminal records, which are checked with the Criminal Records Bureau and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, and for serving judges being recommended to a different post, with the Office for Judicial Complaints. All but the most minor convictions will normally disqualify someone from being appointed.

Post appointment, judicial office holders are required to report any criminal caution or charge to their senior judge and keep him or her informed of the progress and outcome of the case.

Information regarding the number of judiciary who have been dismissed for committing a criminal offence has only been collated centrally from 2004. The information is as follows:

2004: Two magistrates

2005: Six magistrates

2006-07: Three magistrates

2007-08: Two magistrates

2008-09: Two magistrates and one district judge.