The body which investigates complaints against judges has been accused of covering up the full extent of an investigation into Cherie Blair over her decision to hand down a lenient sentence to a convicted man because he was “a religious person”.
This investigation was launched earlier this year by the Office of Judicial Complaints (OJC) after a request came from the National Secular Society (NSS).
Cherie Booth (her maiden and professional name) was sitting as a recorder when this happened.
She was sentencing Shamso Miah, a 25-year-old from Redbridge, northeast London, who, says the Independent, “had fractured a man’s jaw in a fight outside a bank. In her summing up, Mrs Blair explained that she was giving Mr Miah a two-year suspended sentence, instead of a six-month jail term, because he was ‘a religious person’ who had not been in trouble before.”
Following the NSS’s complaint, the OJC released a two-paragraph statement on 10 June stating that an investigation by the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice had concluded that Mrs Blair’s “observations did not constitute judicial misconduct” and that “no disciplinary action” was necessary.
But in a separate letter to the NSS, obtained by the Independent, a caseworker from the OJC admitted that the complaint had in fact been “partially substantiated” and that, while no disciplinary action was needed, Mrs Blair would receive “informal advice from a senior judge”.
And is Booth/Blair religious? Is the Pope a Catholic?