LAWFUEL – The Law Newswire – LegalWeek reports from london that the UK judiciary has come under fresh scrutiny this week after a retiring senior judge’s details appeared prematurely on a mediation website and another continued working until days before his high-profile trial for indecent exposure.
The drive by many judges to extend their careers beyond retirement was questioned when a business profile of 66-year-old Lord Justice Chadwick, an experienced Court of Appeal judge, appeared on clerksroom.com, a website providing barristers, mediators and arbitrators across the UK.
The site, which counts 34 retired judges on its books, had listed Chadwick as an independent mediator well ahead of his planned retirement in November. He was removed from the site on Tuesday (12 June) after enquiries from Legal Week.
A number of judges have moved into mediation work after retirement, but advertising before doing so is unusual and has attracted criticism. One solicitor said: “A judge who offered his services for mediation would clearly compromise their independence.”
A judicial spokesperson said Chadwick had not attempted to advertise. The Government is currently consulting on whether judges should return to commercial practice. The news comes as it emerged that Lord Justice Richards, who stood trial earlier this week for indecent exposure, continued to handle paper judgments until the week before his court battle.
Richards was arrested in January after allegedly exposing himself to a female train passenger. However, as revealed by legalweek.com (10 May), the judiciary chose not to give Richards a full suspension. He instead continued to handle paper judgments and immigration applications, sparking unrest.