A recorder has been removed from judicial office after posting abusive comments under a pseudonym on a newspaper website about cases he was involved in.
The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office, in a statement published on its website, said Jason Dunn-Shaw was subject to a conduct investigation 'for using a pseudonym to post comments (some of which were abusive) on a newspaper website about a case in which he had been a judge and another in which he had been a barrister'.
The JCIO added: 'In his own name he also used publically available social media sites to post material or not remove material which was not compatible with the dignity of judicial office or suggested a lack of impartiality on matters of public controversy.
’The lord chancellor and the lord chief justice concluded that his behaviour fell below the standard expected of a judicial office holder and have removed Mr Dunn-Shaw from judicial office.’
The judge, allocated to the south-eastern circuit, is reported to be appealing the decision.
The judiciary's guide to judicial conduct states that blogging by members of the judiciary is not prohibited. Judicial office holders who blog, or post comments on other people's blogs, must not identify themselves as members of the judiciary.
The guidance states: 'They must also avoid expressing opinions which, were it to become known that they hold judicial office, could damage public confidence in their own impartiality or in the judiciary in general. This guidance also applies to blogs which purport to be anonymous.'