The proceedings, recorded in English, gathered together the details of a case as presented by plaintiff and defendant. Each of the following stages in the proceedings was officially recorded:
A petition or bill (also known as a pleading) from the plaintiff would be submitted to the court laying out their grievance
A response from the defendant, known as an ‘answer’
A response from the plaintiff, known as a ‘replication’
A further response from the defendant, known as a ‘rejoinder’
Interrogatories – a set of questions that could be put to the witnesses of either party – in some cases interrogatories seem to have started off the procedure
Sworn testimony, known as ‘depositions’, in answer to the questions in the interrogatories
Those unfortunate enough to come within the judicial orbit of the JCIO are faced with navigating the The Judicial Conduct (Magistrates) Rules 2014 and its updates.
This year to date 18 magistrates have been sanctioned by the JCIO. How many have been investigated and have escaped "notoriety" is as much a state secret as the number of Boris Johnson`s illegitimate children or the Duke of Sussex`s real father. Of these unfortunates eleven were found to have failed to sit the minimum number of times strictly specified to them at their interview and certainly discussed with each before disciplinary proceedings were initiated. But we will never know why a sitting MP on the supplemental list was allowed to continue in that position even although he had previously faced disciplinary sanction. It is apparent that any JP who is automatically shifted to the supplemental list at retirement and who wants to retain the perceived vanity of the letters JP on his/her letterhead had better not be caught for the most minor misdemeanour which might lead to a conviction or a suspected contravention of the judicial conduct rules above. But there have always been those whose interest in the magistracy has 99% to do with his/her perceived kudos of that suffix and 1% to serve his fellow citizens in the justice process. Nevertheless whilst the General Medical Council and many similar disciplinary bodies hold hearings in public or publish the content of such hearings it is notable that misconduct of police and judges is still under the cloud of secrecy. Perhaps it will be historians in the 23rd century who will have access to these matters as we now have to the processes of the Star Chamber.