Families Link International
Tel:0781 886 1724


home | issues | policies | family groups | courts | court reporters | research | law | contacts | donations | Useful Quotes |

Stop Press

Secret list of porn judges ‘does exist’

From The Times May 17, 2007
Frances Gibb, Legal Editor

The Lord Chancellor has been forced to disclose that he holds a list of judges disciplined for misuse of their computers, including viewing pornography.

The ruling on disclosure by Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner, comes after Lord Falconer of Thoroton’s ministry, the Department for Constitutional Affairs, refused to divulge the number and rank of judges and magistrates who have been disciplined. But Mr Thomas said: “It is important for the public to know and be assured that the Lord Chancellor [now the Office for Judicial Complaints] thoroughly investigates each and every allegation of computer misuse by judges.”

At first, the department admitted it had held the information but refused to provide it, claiming that it was exempt under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Then it refused to confirm whether or not it even held the information.

But in his recent finding, the commissioner concluded that to disclose that the information is held would lead to “greater transparency, due to the public’s right to know that serious complaints against judges (such as complaints about computer misuse) are thoroughly investigated and appropriately punished”.

The finding continued: “This knowledge of transparency would reinforce public confidence in the Lord Chancellor’s ability effectively to supervise the judiciary. A greater loss of confidence in the Lord Chancellor would arise from the public’s being ‘left in the dark’ on the true state of affairs.”

Responsibility for complaints and disciplining of judges has since been handed over to the Office for Judicial Complaints. A spokesman for the new Ministry of Justice confirmed that it has the information but is refusing to release it.

In its first ten months, the Office for Judicial Complaints has investigated 1,434 complaints against judges, magistrates and other judicial office holders, but no breakdown has been given as to how many relate to judicial misconduct.

Further commentaries:



The contents on these pages are provided as information only. No responsibility or liability is accepted by or on behalf of FLINT for any errors, omissions, or misleading statements on these pages, or any site to which these pages connect, whether provided by FLINT or by any organisation, company or individual. No mention of any organisation, company or individual, whether on these pages or on other sites to which these pages are linked, shall imply any approval or warranty as to the standing and capability of any such organisations, companies or individuals on the part of FLINT. All rights reserved.