Date: 28 September 2023
A spokesperson for the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office said:
The Senior President of Tribunals, acting on behalf of the Lord Chief Justice and with the Lord Chancellor’s agreement, has issued Dr Christopher Pearson, a medically qualified member of the Social Security and Child Support jurisdiction of the Social Entitlement Chamber (First-tier Tribunal), with a formal warning for misconduct.
The Guide to Judicial Conduct reminds office-holders to respect the dignity of all and to avoid conduct which could undermine confidence in judicial impartiality.
During a private discussion with two other tribunal members, Dr Pearson made two attempts at humorous comments which led one of the members to raise concerns with a leadership judge. Following an investigation carried out under the Judicial Conduct (Tribunals) Rules 2014, Dr Pearson’s chamber president concluded that one of his comments was sexist and derogatory to single mothers who have children by different fathers, and the other had racist and antisemitic overtones.
Dr Pearson stated that he had not intended to cause offence and was sorry for having done so.
The Senior President of Tribunals and the Lord Chancellor agreed with the chamber president’s conclusions and recommendation to issue Dr Pearson with a formal warning. In doing so, they accepted that he had not intended to cause offence and that he was unlikely to repeat such conduct in future. They also noted that Dr Pearson, who was appointed to the tribunal in 2012, had a previously unblemished conduct record.
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