The date of meeting to decide the rationale for record keeping

Dear Judicial Conduct Investigations Office,

1. What was the date of the meeting held to decide the rationale for record keeping of meetings?

In a FOI Request on 27 July 2020, I asked ' What was the date of the meeting at which the JCIO decided a 'judge falling asleep in court' could not possibly be seen as 'related to a judicial decision' and was therefore to be included in the list of things you 'COULD complain about' in a judge's behaviour'.

Your Response was there was no record of this meeting and that 'not all meetings are recorded'. Of course, one would not expect you to keep a record/agenda items/minutes/decisions etc of trivial, unimportant meetings. But I have previously asked about meetings where fundamental changes were made to the published JCIO list in 2018 of things about a judge's behaviour could COULD complain about, and things you COULDN'T complain about. I noted the list had changed from 6 things you could complain about to 4 (and that 'failure to disclose a potential conflict of interest' and 'criminal convictions' had been deleted but the latter now featured on the list of things could COULDN'T complain about, whereas the former was 'lost') and the things you couldn't complain about had radically increased from 8 to 18!

These were the most radical changes in the JCIO's history. Your Response was that there were in fact 2 meetings to implement 2 sets of changes to these lists but you had no record of the dates of these 2 meetings, or what changes were made on which date! And obviously you had no agendas, minutes, etc. So, you had no records of 2 meetings that were going to radically transform the Complaint procedures for the investigation of judges.

That is the reason for my question. Are you now going to tell me you had no meeting to decide on a rationale for record keeping? That it's down to a junior clerk making an ad hoc decision?

The JCIOs attitude towards record keeping is irresponsible and shambolic. This situation is a public disgrace. One suspects that your motive is simply to reduce your workload which has the effect of protecting judges from complaints. Your annual reports have for years highlighted your problems in keeping up with your workload. Increase dramatically the list of things you can't complain about, & you reduce your load. Significantly, the year after the 2018 changes, you reported that 70% of all complaints made about judges had been immediately rejected because they did not qualify as things you could complain about!

Compared to the JCIO, OFQUAL looks lie a model of efficiency, and civic responsibility.

I'm sure this Request about 'rationale' will be rejected on the grounds it's 'vexatious' - the favourite 'cop out' for organisations. Usually, it means: this Request would cause us huge embarrassment to answer, let's call it 'vexatious'. The JCIOs record keeping seems designed to prevent transparency and keep secret important policy decisions taken.

Yours faithfully,

Dudley Jones

JCIO General Enquiries, Judicial Conduct Investigations Office

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Rasul, Nazir (JCIO), Judicial Conduct Investigations Office

5 Atodiad

Dear Mr Jones

 

Please find attached a response to your FOI request.

 

Sincerely

 

Nazir Rasul

Senior Caseworker

Judicial Conduct Investigations Office

 

81-82 Queens Building 

Royal Courts of Justice

WC2A 2LL

020 7071 5679

 

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