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Whistleblowing policy for judges unveiled

By June 28, 2021July 13th, 2021Government, People

According to a new whistleblowing policy disclosed this week, the lord chief justice and senior president of tribunals want all judges to have confidence to expose any wrongdoing.

On wednesday the judicial intranet published a 12-page Judicial Whistleblowing Policy: How to report wrongdoing document. 

The document stated: ‘In introducing this policy, the LCJ and SPT want everyone to have the confidence to speak up, to be secure in the knowledge that it is safe and acceptable to do so, and to know that if you raise a concern under this policy you will not suffer any detriment.’

The policy detailed that the reporting of wrongdoing is ‘reasonably believed to be in the public interest’, and that proof of wrongdoing is not necessary as ‘reasonable belief is sufficient’.

Judicial office holders have been nominated to act as a ‘confidential and impartial point of contact and information’ for office-holders who highlight a complaint under the whistleblowing or grievance policies. 

Commenting on the selection process, the judiciary said that nominated judges were chosen based on expressions of interest. Applications were reviewed by a selection panel to ensure that there was fair representation from different jurisdictions, background and experience.

It was revealed in April by the judiciary that a new whistleblowing policy was to be created in response to an unsettling letter by eight, anonymous, serving judges who disclosed how colleagues had been unfairly ‘undermined, belittled or accused of being mentally unstable’ for questioning a lack of diversity within the judiciary.

Director of Transform Justice and former magistrate Penelope Gibbs, welcomed the whistleblowing policy. She said: “To make it work, the judiciary should change its culture so judges are prepared to whistle-blow on their colleagues. We also need a trusted and effective system whereby outsiders like lawyers can whistle-blow or complain about judges”.

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