JCIO 06/24

Date: 15 February 2024





Mr Ben Walker JP


A spokesperson for the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office said:

The Lord Chancellor, with the Lady Chief Justice’s agreement, has removed Mr Ben Walker of the Gloucestershire bench from office for failing to disclose that he had been convicted of 5 offences in his application to join the magistracy, despite clear guidance in the application form to do so.

Applicants to the magistracy are required to disclose any information that, if it became generally known, might bring the magistracy into disrepute or call into question their standing as a magistrate. This includes all cautions or convictions irrespective of when they were received.

Mr Walker did not declare that he had been convicted of 5 offences in either the application form or at interview, despite being asked whether there was anything in his private life which could damage his credibility as a magistrate if it became known to the public.

Mr Walker apologised for failing to disclose the information and said he had not sought to deceive or bring the judiciary into disrepute. He did not think that the matter for which he was fined amounted to a conviction, therefore, did not need to declare it.

A chairman of the South West Region Conduct Advisory Committee considered the matter under the Judicial Conduct (Magistrates) Rules 2014 and recommended that Mr Walker should be removed from office. The Lord Chancellor and the Lady Chief Justice agreed.



Notes for Editors

Media queries in relation to the JCIO should be made in the first instance to the Judicial Press Office - telephone 020 7073 4852 or via email - press.enquiries@judiciary.gsi.gov.uk

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.

For more information about the Office, including details on how to make a complaint against a judicial office holder, you can visit the JCIO website at: Judicial Conduct Investigations website