Ministry of Justice settles race claims brought by a retired judge

David Stephenson acted for Judge Herbert at several preliminary hearings and was scheduled to represent him in his multi-day hearing before the Leeds employment tribunal on 5 July 2021.

Judge Herbert was suspended, subjected to a misconduct investigation and sanctioned for comments made during a speech he made to a rally in Stepney, East London, in April 2015. In the speech, he criticised the Electoral Commission’s decision to bar the former mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, from holding public office for five years. At the rally, Herbert said: “Racism is alive and well and living in Tower Hamlets, in Westminster and, yes, sometimes in the judiciary.”

Judge Herbert brought claims against the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office, the Nominated Judge and the Disciplinary Panel for race discrimination and victimisation for how he was treated. However, having received an apology from the Judicial Conduct Investigation Office in August 2020 and the MoJ adopting a new suspension policy for judges, the case settled on a no admission of liability basis.

David was instructed under the Direct Public Access Scheme.

Media coverage: The Guardian, The Times, The Voice.