The level of judicial sanctions has remained high this year, with judges disciplined for shouting at counsel, re-tweeting contentious material and making inappropriate remarks.
The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office has published 54 disciplinary statements since January, almost equalling the 55 published between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019 - the highest number in five years.
Two judges and one magistrate have been disciplined for the misuse of social media, including retweeting a petition about a contentious issue and posting political comments online ‘which could have brought the judiciary into disrepute’.
Meanwhile, at least nine judges and magistrates were disciplined for inappropriate remarks and gestures, including foul and intemperate language and inappropriate gestures towards staff members. Another magistrate received a formal warning after behaving in a bullying manner towards a fellow magistrate, and a judge was issued with formal advice after he was found to have shouted at counsel in court.
Failing to meet the minimum sitting requirements without a reasonable excuse was the most common breach of judicial rules, with 17 magistrates sanctioned for this. Meanwhile, five members of the judiciary were disciplined for driving offences.
The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office has yet to publish its annual report which details the number of complaints made against judicial office holders, as well as sanctions data.