England: Judicial watchdog looking into lost luggage judge

England: Judicial watchdog looking into lost luggage judge

The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) is looking into the conduct of a High Court judge who heard a case involving British Airways a fortnight after the airline lost his luggage.

Justice Peter Smith excused himself from a major case involving the airline in July after he repeatedly asked BA’s legal team to account for his delayed luggage.

According to reports, Mr Justice Smith mentioned his luggage 33 times during court proceedings and was asked to recuse himself.

However, he said: “I do not believe for a minute that the reasonably-minded observer would think that merely because I had raised issues about the non-delivery of my luggage, that it should raise the possibility of bias.”

Mr Justice Smith eventually handed the case to another judge, but promised to continue investigating what had happened to his luggage “with the vigour for which I am known”.

The JCIO has now confirmed it is investigating the incident for evidence of improper conduct.

British Airways has said it has since apologised to the judge for his delayed baggage and “offered a full explanation”.

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