An investigation into the conduct of a judge described as ‘gratuitously rude’ by the Court of Appeal is expected to be completed by the summer.
The Judicial Conduct Investigation Office has confirmed it has begun enquiries concerning His Honour Judge Dodds after two of his decisions were overturned on appeal in quick succession.
Dodds was told by the appeal court in January that he should ‘be embarrassed’ after it read the transcript of a case in which a child had applied for a DNA test to establish her real father.
A day earlier, the court had overturned Dodds’ care order, after ruling it was ‘fundamentally unprincipled and unfair’.
The Judicial Office said in February no investigation was taking place because there had not been any official complaint.
But after the intervention of one law firm - and reportedly individuals involved in the cases - that situation has now changed.
A spokesman for the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office said: ‘HHJ Dodds’ conduct is now the subject of a disciplinary investigation which will be conducted in accordance with the Judicial Discipline (Prescribed Procedures) Regulations 2014.’
It is expected the investigation will take several weeks to conclude but no further details could be released, he added.
North-west firm QualitySolicitors Jackson Canter, which was involved in one of the cases, said it had formally asked the JCIO to investigate.
A spokesman said: ‘We were particularly concerned by the comment of the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office that no case had been referred to them.
‘This is establishment thinking at its worst. We believe they have a positive duty to maintain the integrity of the judiciary.’
A spokesman for the judiciary said judges do not comment pending the outcome of any JCIO inquiry.