JUDGE REPRIMANDED FOR SUPPORTING MARRIAGE ASKS WHAT COMES NEXT? – A PUBLIC HANGING?
A High Court judge who stepped down after being disciplined for campaigning in favour of marriage said he would have been ‘publicly hanged’ if he had spoken out again.
Sir Paul Coleridge launched a stinging attack against Lord Thomas, the country’s most senior judge, for rebuking him after he repeatedly spoke out about the harm that family breakdowns caused children.
He said the judiciary had been ‘brought into disrepute’ by investigating him for backing a traditional view of marriage.
Sir Paul, Britain’s top divorce judge, was given a formal warning by the Lord Chief Justice and Justice Secretary Chris Grayling for judicial misconduct, prompting him to hand in his resignation.
Yesterday he hit back to defend the right of judges to voice their private opinions on issues they believed were of national importance.
He said the way he had been treated proved the senior judiciary was ‘terrified of mild criticism’ and ‘trivial’ complaints by a few members of the public.
Sir Paul set up the Marriage Foundation think tank in May 2012 to champion the institution on a national basis and promote ‘healthy, stable relationships’.
The Office for Judicial Complaints, the body that polices the behaviour of judges, advised Sir Paul to take a lower profile after he protested about the devastating impact of family break-up on children, criticised cohabitation, and called for greater support for marriage.