This blog has received a large number of emails and phone calls offering support, with the common themes that the 'guidance' is both arbitrary and unnecessary, and that the blog has never in its seven years' existence published a single post that has called into question the integrity or impartiality of the judiciary at any level. Many people have said that it is a valuable resource (even being recommended reading for a number of degree and 'A'- level courses) that has helped to dispel myths and ignorance about the courts, and has been instrumental in persuading a considerable number of people to apply to join the bench. It was one of The Times '40 blogs that really count'.
This is a responsible blog however, so a few changes have been made today. It is now written by a team and all posts are signed by the team, and not any individual. Its mission remains to inform, to argue for improvements to justice, and occasionally to amuse.
The Guidance says, inter alia,
Blogging by members of the judiciary is not prohibited. However, officer (sic) holders who blog (or who post comments on other people’s blogs) must not identify themselves as members of the judiciary.
They must also avoid expressing opinions which, were it to become known that they hold judicial office, could damage public confidence in their own impartiality or in the judiciary in general.Will continue as before - never have and never will
The above guidance also applies to blogs which purport to be anonymous. This is because it is impossible for somebody who blogs anonymously to guarantee that his or her identity cannot be discovered.Noted
The blog is confident that no such material exists. It is simply not practical to search through well over two thousand posts written over seven-and-a-half years , not to mention tens of thousands of comments.Judicial office holders who maintain blogs must adhere to this guidance and should remove any existing content which conflicts with it forthwith.
Noted. We shall study the guidance as soon as it is made available.Failure to do so could ultimately result in disciplinary action. It is also recommended that all judicial office holders familiarise themselves with the new IT and Information Security Guidance which will be available shortly.