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Judge cleared of wrongdoing after calling defendant a c***

By Kathryn Higgins

10 January 2017 at 14:51 BST

The controversy surrounding Judge Patricia Lynch QC has fueled heated debate around how judges should respond to abusive behaviour in their courtrooms.

The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office has confirmed that it will not pursue disciplinary action against Judge Lynch after receiving around 10 complaints about an incident that took place in August last year. Judge Lynch was sentencing 50-year-old John Hennigan for a breach of an anti-social behaviour order when Mr Hennigan called the judge a ‘c***’, to which she replied, ‘Well, you’re a bit of a c*** yourself.’ Though the JCIO is yet to publish its report on the matter, complainant Robert Hackett confirmed the decision: ‘Although the lord chancellor and the lord chief justice considered HHJ Lynch’s remarks to be inappropriate, they did not find that they amounted to misconduct or warranted any disciplinary sanction. [They] were of the view that the matter should be dealt with by informal advice,’ he said.

Sources: Law Society Gazette; Evening Standard


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