JCIO 12/24

Date: 20 March 2024





District Judge Melanie Hay


A spokesperson for the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office said:

The Lady Chief Justice, with the Lord Chancellor’s agreement, has issued District Judge (DJ) Melanie Hay with a formal warning for misconduct. The Guide to Judicial Conduct reminds office-holders to be courteous, tolerant and respect the dignity of all. They should also ensure that their conduct maintains and enhances public confidence in the judiciary.

A firm of solicitors made four separate complaints about DJ Hay, alleging that she had made critical remarks about them in four hearings, which were indicative of bias.

Following an investigation carried out under the Judicial Conduct (Judicial and other office holders) Rules 2014, a nominated judge found that DJ Hay’s remarks were inconsistent with the principle of judicial impartiality and amounted to misconduct.

DJ Hay, while accepting that some of her comments were intemperate, stated that she felt pressured by the conduct of the firm’s representatives. She was also dealing with a difficult personal matter during the period in question. She did not agree that her actions amounted to misconduct.

In deciding to issue DJ Hay with a formal warning, the Lord Chancellor and the Lady Chief Justice took into consideration that she had been issued with formal advice in 2020 for making a derogatory remark in court to a litigant in person.




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