Judges and whether they are answerable to anyone if they fail to adhere to the Nolan Principles

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Law Commission should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Law Commission,

Please bare with me; as a victim of a sloppy investigation presented to Manchester's Coroner in 2004, I have been unable to access best healthcare and now struggle to best protect my health; please be aware that I may make errors with this FOI request and I seek your co-operation in respect of the Nolan principles, should I fail to best present my case.

It is not my wish to annoy you. I just don't understand how the system "works"

I am forced to make this enquiry because I have yet to witness the Law Commission or the Ministry of Justice being genuine and transparent response to the public's enquiries about the Tort of Misconduct in Public Office.

...............................
I refer you to the Law Commission's answer provided on 26th January in response to this FOIA
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/n...

A copy of a Ministry of Justice procedure was copied to Deb Williams.

1) Does this mean that Law Commission is answerable to the Ministry of Justice?

2) If this is the case then surely the Law Commission was the agency that was best able to bring transparency to the public's repeated enquiries as to why a Judge had never been successfully charged with the Tort of Misconduct In Public Office?

*During the Law Commission's live review of "Misconduct In Public Office", the minutes and notes all log the public's repeated enquiries as to why a Judge has never been successfully prosecuted for Misconduct In Public Office for a 100 years.

*As the Law Commission comes under the remit of The Ministry of Justice; then surely your agency was in the best position to review those concerns before you went to publication with the next stage of questions put to the public.

Additional FOIA queries;

A) How did the Law Commission formulate the questions from the public and progress a fit for purpose review as to the reason for no Judges never being successfully charged with Misconduct in Public Office?

B) I have repeatedly read through the last report from the Law Commission, whereby the public were invited to respond to the questions but I could not find any reference to how Judges can be best regulated under the Tort of Misconduct In Public Office. As the conduct of Judges seem integral to the progress of the Law, please could you help me find those questions whereby the Law Commission seeks feedback from the public in its live review of Misconduct In Public Office?

*The Ministry of Justice's main website sets a deadline of 3 months for the public to lodge a complaint about a Judge. Unfortunately, the website fails to provide advice as to what the public can do if their complaint about the conduct of the judge was never best progressed with the Court staff.

C) In which year did the Law Commission review whether the complaints system for reporting judges (i) was fit for purpose and not Corrupt-By-Design or (ii) outlined the principles of the NOLAN PRINCIPLES?

I look forward to your cooperation on this matter.

Yours faithfully,

Fiona Watts

@magnacarta300

Communications Law Com, Law Commission

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LAWCOM (FOI), Law Commission

Dear Fiona Watts,

Thank you for your request for information dated 13th March 2017 when you requested information regarding the below questions. The following should be read alongside the previous responses we have provided to you, in reply to FOI requests made to us in March and April 2016. In particular, the response dated 31 March 2016 contained background information regarding the work of the Law Commission and our project reviewing the criminal offence of misconduct in public office, much of which is relevant to your present queries.

I have answered your questions as follows.

1) Does this mean that Law Commission is answerable to the Ministry of Justice?

The Law Commission is a statutory independent body. It is an advisory Non-Departmental Public Body and is independent of Government. The Lord Chancellor is accountable to Parliament for the Law Commission and the Ministry of Justice is therefore its sponsoring department. More information on the relationship between the Law Commission and the Ministry of Justice can be found in our Framework Document: http://www.lawcom.gov.uk/wp-content/uplo....

The Ministry of Justice is also the government department with policy responsibility for the offence of misconduct in public office. Accordingly, we have engaged with them throughout the project in order to gain their policy perspective on the current law and possible law reform options, and we will do the same at subsequent stages of the project. We are also working with the Ministry of Justice Analytical Services team on the impact assessment that will be published alongside our next paper.

2) If this is the case then surely the Law Commission was the agency that was best able to bring transparency to the public's repeated enquiries as to why a Judge had never been successfully charged with the Tort of Misconduct In Public Office?

In our FOI response to you dated 31 March 2016 we explained that the misconduct in public office project is limited to reviewing the criminal offence of misconduct in public office and that It is beyond the remit of this project to make any recommendations in relation to related civil or disciplinary law. The tort of misfeasance in public office is part of the civil, not the criminal, law. The totality of our research on the tort of misfeasance in public office was published as Appendix B to our background paper, Misconduct in Public Office - Issues Paper 1.

It is outside the scope of this project to consider civil claims made under the tort of misfeasance in public office against members of the judiciary. We do not hold information regarding the number, frequency and/or results of any such civil claims brought against members of the judiciary. We did discuss, in Issues Paper 1, at paragraph 2.178, the last known prosecution of a judge for the criminal offence of misconduct in public office. This was the case of Llewellyn-Jones in 1968.

The Commission cannot answer the question of why no member of the judiciary has been prosecuted using this offence since 1968. Investigations into alleged judicial misconduct are carried out by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office, an independent body (http://judicialconduct.judiciary.gov.uk). Disciplinary action against members of the judiciary is undertaken by the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice, following such an investigation being carried out. Decisions of whether or not to undertake a criminal prosecution are made by the Crown Prosecution Service or another relevant prosecutorial body.

3) During the Law Commission's live review of "Misconduct In Public Office", the minutes and notes all log the public's repeated enquiries as to why a Judge has never been successfully prosecuted for Misconduct In Public Office for a 100 years.

We are unsure what minutes and notes are being referred to here. The Law Commission maintains a record of all responses received to its consultation exercises and the issues raised therein by consultees. As part of its final report on this project the Law Commission will discuss further consultees responses to our most recent Consultation Paper: Reforming Misconduct in Public Office.

Issues Paper 1 discussed the last known prosecution of a judge for the criminal offence of misconduct in public office, which occurred in 1968.

4) As the Law Commission comes under the remit of The Ministry of Justice; then surely your agency was in the best position to review those concerns before you went to publication with the next stage of questions put to the public.

Please see the answer to question 2 above.

Additional FOIA queries;

A) How did the Law Commission formulate the questions from the public and progress a fit for purpose review as to the reason for no Judges never being successfully charged with Misconduct in Public Office?

As stated, the last known prosecution of a judge for the criminal offence of misconduct in public office occurred in 1968 and was discussed in our Issues Paper 1.

The Commission’s review is concerned with reforming the criminal offence of misconduct in public office and the problems that we identified with the law were set out in full in our Issues Paper 1. We explained in our Consultation Paper how consultees’ responses to Issues Paper 1 informed our development of the provisional law reform proposals contained in that document. Consultees responses to the Consultation Paper will, in due course, inform the recommendations within our final report, due for publication later this year.

B) I have repeatedly read through the last report from the Law Commission, whereby the public were invited to respond to the questions but I could not find any reference to how Judges can be best regulated under the Tort of Misconduct In Public Office. As the conduct of Judges seem integral to the progress of the Law, please could you help me find those questions whereby the Law Commission seeks feedback from the public in its live review of Misconduct In Public Office?

The misconduct in public office project is limited to reviewing the criminal offence of misconduct in public office. The tort of misfeasance in public office is part of the civil, not the criminal, law. The totality of our research on the tort of misfeasance in public office was published in Appendix B to Issues Paper 1.

The last known prosecution of a judge for the criminal offence of misconduct in public office occurred in 1968 and was discussed in our Issues Paper 1. As explained in that paper Judges therefore fall within the definition of public office holder for the purposes of the current offence.

Issues Paper 1 was concerned with identifying the problems with the current law. The purpose of our most recent Consultation Paper was to seek consultees’ views on how the law can best be reformed for the future, not how the current offence presently functions. In Chapter 4 of our Consultation Paper we asked consultees a series of questions as to how public office could best be defined for the purposes of any new offence proposed to replace misconduct in public office. Our final recommendations on the types of position that could fall within a new definition of public office will be published in our final report later this year.

C) The Ministry of Justice's main website sets a deadline of 3 months for the public to lodge a complaint about a Judge. Unfortunately, the website fails to provide advice as to what the public can do if their complaint about the conduct of the judge was never best progressed with the Court staff.

We are unable to comment on whether or not the Ministry of Justice provides sufficient advice to persons making a complaint about a member of the judiciary and we cannot provide legal advice on this, or any other, issue.

D) In which year did the Law Commission review whether the complaints system for reporting judges (i) was fit for purpose and not Corrupt-By-Design or (ii) outlined the principles of the NOLAN PRINCIPLES?

The Law Commission has never reviewed the complaints system operated in relation to members of the judiciary.

If you are not content with the manner in which we have handled your request for information you can ask us to conduct an internal review of the request. Please contact me and I will explain and initiate the internal procedure for you. We ask that your request for a review is made within two months of the date of this letter.

If you remain dissatisfied with the handling of your request you have a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner at:

The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF
t. 0303-123-1113
w. www.ico.gov.uk

Yours sincerely,

Martine O’Flaherty | Law Commission
Business Manager & HR Lead - Corporate Services Team

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Dear LAWCOM (FOI),

Thank you for your reply Martine, but I am still genuinely confused. What have I misunderstood here?

On 18th April 2017, you wrote
"We did discuss, in Issues Paper 1, at paragraph 2.178, the last known prosecution of a judge for the criminal offence of misconduct in public office. This was the case of Llewellyn-Jones in 1968"

On 20th January 2016
A member of the public who attended the Law Commission's live review of the legislation Misconduct In Public office posted this response on #lawcomMIPO.

" A century since a judicial member prosecuted"

When I looked up the incident, it seems that a judge was prosecuted for smuggling.

Now, as with all FOI's on here, the reason why I am on here is because the enquiries that I made in private were to no avail, so am confused as to why this data/ fact / tweets were not corrected sooner to ..... the date of 1968?

Yours sincerely

Fiona Watts

 #MIPO_nhs
#MIPO_phso
#MIPO_sp

LAWCOM (FOI), Law Commission

This is an automatic acknowledgement of your email, which is being dealt
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Law Commission

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Dear LAWCOM (FOI),

One only has to view the way that the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office fails to comply with UK data laws on here and/ or fails to progress FOIs to understand that there seems to be no fit for purpose regulation of Judges in the UK.

No fit for purpose regulation, legislation and then apparently, the staff shortage, seems to provide a clause for Judges to be never to be held to account for Malfeasance?

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/n...

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/t...

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/h...

UK citizens are looked to the Law Commission to ensure that a legislation best protects us from corruption, coverup and perjury when we do reach court after complying with EVERY complaints protocol.

Yours sincerely,

Fiona Watts

LAWCOM (FOI), Law Commission

This is an automatic acknowledgement of your email, which is being dealt
with. If we require further details from you, we will contact you again
before we send you a substantive reply.
 
Law Commission

This e-mail (and any attachment) is intended only for the attention of
the addressee(s). Its unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying
is not permitted. If you are not the intended recipient, please destroy
all
copies and inform the sender by return e-mail.

Internet e-mail is not a secure medium. Any reply to this message
could be intercepted and read by someone else. Please bear that in
mind when deciding whether to send material in response to this message
by e-mail.

This e-mail (whether you are the sender or the recipient) may be
monitored, recorded and retained by the Ministry of Justice. E-mail
monitoring / blocking software may be used, and e-mail content may be
read at any time. You have a responsibility to ensure laws are not
broken when composing or forwarding e-mails and their contents.

LAWCOM (FOI), Law Commission

Dear Fiona Watts,

Thank you for your request for information received in this office on 26/04/17.

We acknowledge receipt.

We are handling your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We will respond to you as promptly as possible and, in any event, will provide the information you seek within 20 working days from receipt of your request, unless it transpires that we do not hold the information or that the information is exempt from disclosure. In the latter event we will advise you why the information sought cannot be disclosed. Your request for information will be handled within the Commission by the Criminal team. If you have any query in the meantime relating to your request, please contact me in my role as the Commission’s FoI co-ordinator.

Martine O’Flaherty | Law Commission
Business Manager & HR Lead

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LAWCOM (FOI), Law Commission

Dear Fiona Watts,

Thank you for your request for information received in this office on 26/04/17.

We acknowledge receipt.

We are handling your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We will respond to you as promptly as possible and, in any event, will provide the information you seek within 20 working days from receipt of your request, unless it transpires that we do not hold the information or that the information is exempt from disclosure. In the latter event we will advise you why the information sought cannot be disclosed. Your request for information will be handled within the Commission by the Criminal team. If you have any query in the meantime relating to your request, please contact me in my role as the Commission’s FoI co-ordinator.

Martine O’Flaherty | Law Commission
Business Manager & HR Lead

show quoted sections

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