Date: 27 July 2023
A spokesperson for the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office Said:
The Senior President of Tribunals, on behalf of the Lord Chief Justice and with the Lord Chancellor’s agreement, has issued Dr John Stevens, a medical member of the Health, Education and Social Care Chamber (HESC) 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 confidence in their personal impartiality and that of the judiciary.
The chamber president of HESC launched a disciplinary investigation after he became aware that Dr Stevens had written an unsolicited letter to a judge in which he made highly critical personal comments about her. Dr Stevens explained that he was seeking to challenge his judicial colleague after she had interrupted his questioning of a witness during a hearing. He apologised for the content of the letter and for any unintended offence that it had caused to the judge.
Following an investigation carried out under the Judicial Conduct (Tribunals) Rules 2014, the chamber president found that the content of Dr Stevens’ letter was highly inappropriate, unprofessional and constituted bullying.
Additionally, by discussing the matter with people, including someone outside the judiciary, Dr Stevens had brought the judiciary into disrepute. His actions amounted to misconduct. Having considered the mitigation offered by Dr Stevens, the Senior President of Tribunals and Lord Chancellor agreed with the chamber president’s recommendation.
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