On 1st May 2014, Barrister and Recorder (part-time Judge) Constance Briscoe was convicted of Perverting the Course of Justice, getting a 16 month prison sentence the next day.
Today, 6th August 2014, a mere three months later, she was summarily sacked as a Crown Court Recorder (as well as sitting as a tribunal chair).
Why did it take so long?
These things take time, don’t you know? Actually, there was no particular rush on this one. She can only sit as a Judge when she is allocated work, and she hasn’t had any since her arrest in October 2012.
Also, of course, for the last three months she has been in prison, and she wouldn’t have been let out to go judging.
Having said that, a conviction of any kind (bar minor driving offences) is pretty fatal for a judge, for obvious reasons. A conviction for perverting the course of justice goes right to the heart of an individual’s suitability as a Judge. The Judicial Conduct Investigation Office were only going to go one way on this one …
But she is still a barrister?
As we understand it, yes…
Again, this is a question of things going through the system, rather than anything else. She will not be allowed to practice as a barrister again – once the Bar Standards Board get their hands on her.
They may well be working on the assumption that, again, she won’t be getting work in prison and is so (in)famous that she won’t be getting any (legal) work when she is released (which will be in about a month we think).
Still, it’s not great for the public image is it?