A Court of Appeal judge has been formally warned over his conduct after bullying counsel during a hearing.

Royal Courts of Justice

Royal Courts of Justice

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Lord Justice Clive Lewis was found by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) to have behaved in a ‘rude and hostile manner’ towards an unnamed barrister.

Following an investigation by a senior nominated judge, Lewis was found to have intervened excessively in counsel’s submissions throughout the hearing ‘in a manner which became increasingly harsh and rude to the extent that it constituted judicial bullying'.

The JCIO said that Lewis accepted he had ‘allowed his frustrations at the hearing to show and reflected that he should have handled matters differently’. He had offered his ‘sincere apologies’ at the hearing.

A spokesperson for the JCIO said the lord chief justice, with the lord chancellor’s agreement, had issued Lewis was a formal warning. This took into consideration the mitigation offered by Lewis, including his apology and commitment to learn from the experience and adjust his behaviour in future.

The spokesperson added: ‘The guide to judicial conduct reminds office-holders to be courteous, tolerant and respect the dignity of all. They should also ensure that their conduct maintains and enhances public confidence in the judiciary.’

No details were given about the date or nature of the hearing.

Lord Justice Lewis was called to the bar in 1987 and practised mostly in judicial review and public law. He was presiding judge in Wales from 2016 to 2019 and was appointed as a lord justice of appeal in October 2020.