Magistrate disciplined for disability complaint
And disciplinary panels will have lay majorities under reforms just published
A lay magistrate who admitted using “blunt” language when complaining to court staff about facilities for wheelchair users has been disciplined for misconduct.
The announcement from the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office comes as changes are announced to the way complaints against magistrates are investigated. For the first time, disciplinary panels investigating complaints against other members of the judiciary will have a lay majority.
A survey published by the Magistrates’ Association in June found that magistrates with disabilities were unable to sit in some courtrooms or even entire buildings because of limited accessibility or delays in repairing essential facilities. Of the 57 buildings assessed, almost two-thirds were found to be in need of improvement and seven were categorised as “insufficiently accessible”.
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