A judge who reprimanded a solicitor-advocate for 'dressing like something out of Harry Potter' has been cleared by investigators.
The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) today dismissed complaints against His Honour Judge David Wynn Morgan.
The circuit judge was sitting at Cardiff Crown Court last August when he told Alan Blacker (pictured) after a trial that the solicitor-advocate was dressed ‘like something out of Harry Potter’.
He scolded Blacker, who wore a medal and badges sewn onto his gown, in front of the jury and press and added that ‘If you ever appear before this court again dressed as you are I shall exercise my right to decline to hear you’.
Blacker, based at the Joint Armed Forces Legal Services in Rochdale, complained at what he described as judicial bias.
But the JCIO today said complaints about Morgan’s conduct should be dismissed entirely.
In a statement, the office added: ‘The Lord Chancellor and the President of the Queen’s Bench Division found that HHJ Morgan was entitled to challenge the appearance and status as a legal representative of Mr Alan Blacker, also known as Lord Harley and this did not amount to misconduct.
‘HHJ Morgan has been issued with informal advice regarding how to deal with such situations in future. This is not, however, a form of rebuke or disciplinary sanction.’
The story created enormous interest in the national and trade media after Blacker accused the judiciary of ‘snobbery’.
Last August, Blacker explained that his family has a hereditary title going back more than 1,100 years. When he appears in the magistrates’ and county courts, he said he used the name Dr Alan Blacker, as he received a D Phil in law with economics.
‘Everyone is equal in those courts,’ he told the Gazette. ‘But when I appear in the Crown court I come up against senior and treasury counsel, so I use my title.’
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Judge cleared of misconduct over 'Harry Potter' comment