Chief Magistrate disciplined for ‘worthy cause’ comment to Hamas supporter

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Chief Magistrate disciplined for ‘worthy cause’ comment to Hamas supporter

Senior District Judge slapped down by Lord Chancellor for 'Palestine' comments to man who wore terror T-shirt in Jewish area

Senior District Judge (Chief Magistrate) Paul Goldspring. Photo Credit: University of Hertfordshire
Senior District Judge (Chief Magistrate) Paul Goldspring. Photo Credit: University of Hertfordshire

The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) has “issued formal advice” to a senior judge after he “gave the impression that he endorsed” the Palestinian cause in one of his judgements.

Senior District Judge (Chief Magistrate) Paul Goldspring was sanctioned after a private complaint from a Jewish activist in December 2021. The JCIO said his conduct had “fallen below the standards expected”, acknowledging that support for Palestine was a “contentious political cause”.

It added that the Lord Chief Justice and Lord Chancellor “took into account that, with hindsight, the judge had accepted his remarks were capable of giving such an impression and had expressed regret”.

It stems from Goldspring’s comments to Feras Al Jayoosi, who wore Hamas and Islamic Jihad T-shirts in Golders Green in June 2021, saying that while his support for the Palestinian cause was “worthy”, his backing for political violence was not.

“Support for the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades of Hamas is not support for the Palestinian cause,” said the complainant, Gideon Falter. “Judge Goldspring’s remarks were thus ironically prejudicial to the Palestinian cause and to the cause of defending Jews from antisemitism in Britain.”

As Chief Magistrate, Goldspring is responsible for “supporting and guiding” around 300 district judges and deputy district judges across England and Wales.

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