There have been a number of stories in the recent press about Judges in the news.
Employment Rights Of Judges
One of the stories related to an employment tribunal case finding that a number of Judges had been discriminated against in relation to pay. In particular, it found that part-time judges were only being paid reduced rates for attending judicial training courses. It also found there was discrimination used in calculating daily rates paid to part-time judges.
The findings will no doubt come be welcomed by part-time district judges, known as Deputy District Judges.
In February 2013, it was ruled that part time Judges should be entitled to the same pension and conditions of service (pro rata) as full-time Judges.
Fee Increases For Part-Time Judges
In good news for part-time Judges, their fees are about to increase:
- A change from £801 to £839 for Deputy / Retired High Court Judges
- A change from £595 to £623 for Recorders and Deputy Circuit Judges
- A change from £477 to £488 for Deputy District Judges (which you may well appear before in a small claim)
- A change from £477 to £500 for Deputy Supreme Court Masters, Deputy Costs Judges and Deputy Bankruptcy Registrars
Number Of Complaints About Judges Drops
The number of complaints about Judges has fallen. The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office report states that in 2013-2014 2,108 complaints were made.
This is a small incease from 2,154 the previous year.
The vast majority of complaints related to the handling of cases and decisions made in them. Some complaints also related to inappropriate behaviour of comments of Judges.
Out of all the complaints 58 resulted in disciplinary action being taken against the Judge concerned.
Speaking of complaints about Judges …
Judge Believed To Have Fallen Asleep During A Case
The BBC reported on 26 July that a Judge in Manchester is being investigated after he was accused of falling asleep dealing with a child rape claim.
He is alleged to have fallen asleep whilst an alleged victim was being cross examined. The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office is considering the matter.
The result was that the jury was dismissed and the trial will be re-listed.
If the allegations are true, it is very damaging to the reputation of the legal profession and the trust the public should have in its Judges.