Date: 21 December 2023
A spokesperson for the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office Said:
The Lord Chancellor, with the Lady Chief Justice’s agreement, has removed Mr Kevin McNicholas from the magistracy for failure, without a reasonable excuse, to meet the minimum sittings required of a magistrate.
On appointment, magistrates sign a declaration and undertaking, which includes a commitment to sit for at least 13 days (or 26 half days) a year, and to resign if they fail to do so without an acceptable reason. They are also expected to keep in regular contact with their bench chair and be able to demonstrate commitment and reliability. The summary process in the Judicial Conduct (Magistrates) Rules 2014 enables an advisory committee to recommend a magistrate’s removal from office without further investigation where that magistrate has failed, without a reasonable excuse, to meet their minimum sittings requirements.
In recommending Mr McNicholas’ removal, the London Conduct Advisory Committee considered that, in 2022-23, he sat for only two half-days and failed to respond to multiple attempts by both the committee and bench chair to contact him. When his bench chair reached him by telephone, Mr McNicholas said that he would resign, but he did not then do so.
In the light of Mr McNicholas’ lack of sittings and communication, the Lord Chancellor and the Lady Chief Justice agreed with the recommendation to remove him from office.
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 - email@example.com
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