JCIO 22/24

Date: 9 May 2024





Mrs Ijeoma McDougall JP


A spokesperson for the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office said:

Mr Justice Keehan, on behalf of the Lady Chief Justice and with the Lord Chancellor’s agreement, has issued Mrs Ijeoma McDougall JP, a family magistrate on the Merseyside bench, with a formal warning for misusing her judicial status.

Mrs McDougall referred to her status as a magistrate during a contractual dispute, which was perceived by the other party as a threat and an attempt to create undue pressure. The allegation was investigated in accordance with The Judicial Conduct (Magistrates) Rules 2023. A nominated committee member (NCM) of the North West Region Advisory Committee considered that Mrs McDougall had used her judicial status in an attempt to exert pressure and lend weight to her arguments. Mrs McDougall’s actions, followed by her inability to accept or understand that her judicial status should not have been referred to in such a context, lacked circumspection. This, and the potential to damage the reputation of the magistracy, amounted to misconduct.

The NCM took into consideration that this was an isolated incident and that Mrs McDougall regretted any damage caused to the judiciary and showed a willingness to engage in actions to resolve the matter. Mr Justice Keehan and the Lord Chancellor agreed with the findings and issued Mrs McDougall with a formal warning.




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