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Justice Secretary warns magistrate who refused to hear gay parents’ case

January 30, 2017
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A magistrate has been told to quit after refusing to hear the case of two same-sex parents.

She said that she wouldn’t hear the case regarding gay parents because of her own views on same-sex issues.

Susan Preston, who sits in magistrates courts in south Derbyshire, is now facing investigation by judicial watchdog for her refusal.

Mrs Preston has already been issued with a warning by judicial bosses for her refusal.

A spokesman said the warning had been issued by Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor Liz Truss and Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas.

The details of the case emerged from the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO), which oversees investigations into complaints about judges.

“Mrs Susan Preston JP, a magistrate assigned to the South Derbyshire Bench, has been issued with a formal warning following an investigation into her conduct,” said the JCIO spokesperson in a statement.

“Mrs Preston had declined to adjudicate on a case in the Family Court because of her personal views about same sex couple parenting.

“The Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice considered that this amounted to misconduct and have issued Mrs Preston with a formal warning.”

He added: “Mrs Preston has also been asked to stand down from the family panel with immediate effect.”

She has also been asked to step down from her place on a panel featuring magistrates assigned to oversee family court cases.

Related topics: derbyshire, judge, judicial, liz truss

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