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Judicial Conduct Investigations Office

Volume 580: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2014

11. What assessment he has made of the adequacy of the powers of the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office. (903849)

The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office is an independent office that supports both me and the Lord Chief Justice with our joint responsibility for judicial discipline. Following public consultation, the JCIO introduced new rules and regulations governing judicial discipline on 1 October 2013. I am satisfied that it has the appropriate powers to carry out its function effectively.

I thank the Secretary of State for that answer. The judicial conduct cases the JCIO has examined are there for all to see, but does he share the concern of some of my constituents that where judicial misconduct has been proven there is no direct mechanism to challenge decisions made as a result of it in a court?

Clearly I would have to know about the individual cases in order to give a detailed answer to that question, but where a judge is found to have committed an act of misconduct in relation to a case, I would, of course, expect the person involved to take appropriate legal advice. My experience so far is that we have a good process that deals with these issues promptly and sensitively, and the work of the office is handled pretty well.