JCIO 35/24

Date: 10 July 2024





Mr Richard Morris 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 Richard Morris JP with formal advice for raising his voice at court staff.

On appointment, magistrates sign a declaration and undertaking, which includes a commitment to be circumspect in their conduct and maintain the dignity, standing and good reputation of the magistracy.

An investigation was carried out under the Judicial Conduct (Magistrates) Rules 2023 after concerns were raised about Mr Morris’ conduct prior to a Drug Rehabilitation Requirement (DRR) hearing.

Mr Morris had rearranged the layout of the room prior to the hearing in December 2023, and when a member staff attempted to move a chair, he raised his voice at them and threatened to leave the court.

In representations, Mr Morris admitted the allegations but said that he was following new guidance issued by His Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) stating that magistrates should not sit in the well of the court for DRR hearings.

A nominated committee member of the Wales Magistrates Conduct Committee found that Mr Morris had raised his voice at the member of staff when there was no reason to do so and that he had failed to appreciate how his words and actions could be perceived.

In mitigation the nominated committee member took into account that this was a one-off event, that those present should have been aware of the new guidance and that Mr Morris had no previous findings of misconduct.

Mr Justice Keehan and the Lord Chancellor agreed with the nominated committee member that Mr Morris’ actions amounted to misconduct and issued him with formal advice.




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