Date: 6 June 2023
A spokesperson for the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office said:
The Lord Chancellor, with the Lord Chief Justice’s agreement, has removed His Honour Judge Andrew Easteal from office for misconduct.
Judicial office-holders are expected to strive to ensure that their conduct, both in and out of court, maintains and enhances the confidence of the public, the legal profession, and litigants, in their personal impartiality and that of the judiciary. They are also expected to put the obligations of judicial office above personal interests.
Following an investigation carried out under the Judicial Conduct (Judicial and other office holders) Rules 2014 by a senior judge appointed by the Lord Chief Justice, Judge Easteal was found to have deliberately deleted data in the knowledge that it was of interest to police officers carrying out a criminal investigation. The judge denied that his intention was to frustrate the criminal investigation.
Having considered the mitigation offered by Judge Easteal, the Lord Chief Justice and Lord Chancellor agreed with the investigating judge’s finding that this was misconduct of the utmost seriousness, for which the judge should be removed from office.
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 - firstname.lastname@example.org
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