Judges: Mental Health

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 17th October 2018.

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Photo of Yasmin Qureshi Yasmin Qureshi Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment the Government has made of the rising caseloads of judges on their mental wellbeing.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The welfare of the judiciary is an incredibly important issue. It is imperative that we ensure that the right support is in place to protect their wellbeing. The welfare, training and guidance of the judiciary of England and Wales is the responsibility of the Lord Chief Justice and the Senior President of Tribunals. Senior and leadership judges recognise their responsibilities to consider the welfare and wellbeing of their colleagues. Decisions on deployment and resourcing operate alongside an established health and welfare framework that provides a structure and clear processes to be followed in recognising and responding to stress. These measures include a 24/7 helpline which is available for all salaried and fee paid judges, and magistrates’ bench chairs. The helpline is a confidential service providing judges with access to both practical and emotional support direct from trained personnel, including face to face counselling if appropriate. In addition, all judicial office holders have access to a recently launched e-learning package on managing stress and building resilience.

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