High Court judge curbed over speaking out for marriage

A High Court judge who spoke out in favour of marriage has been warned to keep a “lower profile” after an official complaint was made against him.

Sir Paul Coleridge, chairman and founder of the Marriage Foundation, was investigated by the Office for Judicial Complaints over his role in the charity.

But the Office for Judicial Complaints did not consider his involvement with the Marriage Foundation to be “incompatible with his judicial responsibilities”.

Responsibilities

The watchdog said Mr Justice Coleridge has “agreed that a lower profile role within the organisation would be more appropriate for a serving judicial office holder”.

A spokesman for the Marriage Foundation told the Daily Mail they are “delighted that the misguided complaint against Sir Paul has been completely dismissed”.

The spokesman added: “He is now free to carry on his role as the head of the organisation that champions the institution of marriage and the many benefits that it brings to society.”

Breakdown

Media reports suggested the complaint came after comments Mr Justice Coleridge made at the launch of the Marriage Foundation, a think-tank aimed at reversing the trend of marital breakdown.

At the launch, he said the group was “not going to be a cosy club for the smug and self-satisfied of middle England”, but the start of a “national movement with the aim of changing attitudes across the board from the very top to the bottom of society”.

Mr Justice Coleridge is one of England’s most senior family court judges.

Destructive

He has previously described family breakdown as “one of the most destructive scourges of our time” and said there was “incontrovertible” proof that married couples were more likely to stay together.

And in May this year, Mr Justice Coleridge said action needed to be taken to stick up for marriage.

He said: “The time for sucking our teeth is over. Waiting for government or others to take action is merely an excuse for moaning and inactivity.”

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