Date: 21 December 2023
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 Laurence Davis JP with a formal warning for misconduct.
Magistrates sign a declaration and undertaking on appointment agreeing to be circumspect in their conduct and maintain the dignity, standing and good reputation of the magistracy at all times. The Guide to Judicial Conduct states that judicial office holders should show respect for, and observance of the law.
Mr Davis was disqualified from driving for six months after accruing 17 penalty points on his driving licence over five separate speeding offences. Mr Davis’ bench chair referred the matter to the South West Region Conduct Advisory Committee for investigation.
Mr Davis accepted that he has breached the code of conduct expected of a magistrate and apologised. He offered personal mitigation for the latter two offences, which had taken place in quick succession during Covid. He confirmed that he has since put measures in place to ensure that it does not happen again.
Following an investigation, a conduct panel of the advisory committee took a serious view of the number of driving offences committed by Mr Davis, throughout his time as a magistrate and which resulted in him being disqualified from driving for six months and found that Mr Davis’ actions amounted to serious misconduct.
Mr Justice Keehan and the Lord Chancellor agreed with the conduct panel’s finding and issued Mr Davis with a formal warning.
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