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When misjudgement becomes misconduct

What did the MoJ hope to gain from the public sacking of three judges, asks Kevin Poulter

14 April 2015

The news that three judges were dismissed from their roles for, allegedly, viewing porn while
at work (using official judiciary computers) has led to some curious commentary – from inside and outside the legal community.

To my mind, the dismissal itself is not especially surprising, sitting perfectly well with established employment law. What is more surprising is the manner in which it was announced.

The decision to dismiss the judges, and to accept the pre-emptive resignation of another (‘he resigned and took his pension’), was taken following an investigation by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO).

Judges, like the majority of the adult population, are employees. They get paid a salary and a pension, take holidays, and work under a contract of employment. Like most of us, they are a...

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