Judge Sanctioned Almost a Year After Speaking About Johnson’s and Sunak’s Covid-Rule Breaches on BBC

–A fast climate transition requires higher judicial and media standards

Edited statement:


Colin Adams given formal warning

A spokesperson for the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office said: Mr Justice Keehan, on behalf of the Lord Chief Justice and with the Lord Chancellor’s agreement, has issued Colin Adams JP [Justice of the Peace – similar to magistrate] with a formal warning for contravening guidance to the judiciary about contact with the media and discussing political issues.

Sanctions for misconduct by judicial office-holders are set out in the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. They are, in order of severity: formal advice, formal warning, reprimand and removal from office.

Guidance for the judiciary advises judicial office-holders to consult their relevant leadership judge and ensure that they are not described by their judicial role when taking part in media interviews. The Guide to Judicial Conduct cautions that participation in public debate risks undermining public confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary.

On 13 April, Mr Adams was interviewed on BBC Radio Essex. He discussed covid rule breaches by [former Prime Minister] Boris Johnson and [current PM] Rishi Sunak, government policies, and criminal law. Although he had asked the interviewer not to mention his judicial status, when it was mentioned in the interview Mr Adams did not correct the interviewer to make clear that he was speaking in a private capacity or stop the interview. He later received an apology from BBC Radio Essex for introducing him as a magistrate.

Following an investigation by the South-East Region Conduct Advisory Committee, Mr Adams was found to have demonstrated a lack of judgement and risked bringing the magistracy into disrepute. In deciding to issue him with a formal warning, Mr Justice Keehan and the Lord Chancellor took into account that Mr Adams accepted that it was inappropriate to comment on politically sensitive topics, and had expressed remorse over the incident.

CarrZee: This seems like a light sanction, and a delayed one, for a serious breach. Weird how I could find no other reporting on this story in a google search.


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