JCIO 30/24

Date: 03 July 2024





Mr Charles Peck 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 Mr Charles    Peck JP, a magistrate on the supplemental list, with formal advice for misuse of the ‘JP’ suffix.

When magistrates retire, they are automatically placed on the supplemental list. While supplemental list magistrates have no judicial powers, they are entitled to continue to refer to themselves as a JP. They are also subject to the same expectations in how they conduct themselves as serving magistrates. This includes being circumspect and avoiding use of the suffix ‘JP’ in ways that could be perceived as trying to gain influence.

A complaint was made after a letter entitled ‘Bring Begum home’, alluding to the legal situation of Ms Shamima Begum, who was deprived of her British citizenship, was published in The Times on 24 February 2023. The letter, written by Mr Peck, included his JP suffix in the signature.

The matter was investigated under the Judicial Conduct (Magistrates) Rules 2014. In his representations, Mr Peck accepted responsibility for the letter.

Mr Peck considered that it was appropriate to use his JP suffix in this specific case and that he was acting in accordance with his Judicial Oath, to do right by all manner of people, by calling out an issue. He did not accept that his views could have been perceived as critical of the government or the judiciary or that it had the potential to damage the reputation of the magistracy.

A conduct panel of the South East Region Conduct Advisory Committee found that, whilst Mr Peck was commenting on a highly sensitive issue, which he felt passionately about, he should have been aware of the perception that using the JP suffix could inadvertently create.

The panel decided that Mr Peck’s actions lacked circumspection and amounted to misconduct. The panel was concerned that Mr Peck had reserved the right to use his JP suffix on any future letter, if he felt that justice required it.

Mr Justice Keehan and the Lord Chancellor agreed with the panel’s findings. In issuing Mr Peck with formal advice, they took into consideration his unblemished record.




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