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Officialdom clears judge that slammed Lord Harley for dressing like Harry Potter

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Lord Chancellor and top judges throw out complaint from Alan Blacker about behaviour of Crown Court judge in Cardiff

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The Crown Court judge who told solicitor-advocate Alan Blacker that he looked like something out of a Harry Potter film has been vindicated by officialdom.

Blacker — who styles himself as Lord Harley of Counsel — had complained about the conduct of Circuit Judge David Wynn Morgan.

Sitting in a trial last August, Judge Morgan upbraided Blacker for dressing “like something out of Harry Potter”. Blacker routinely wears a collection of ribbons on an advocate’s gown that he claims were earned for voluntarily medical service with the St John Ambulance.

But that didn’t stop Judge Morgan from railing:

Here in South Wales, we had a barrister, who later became a judge, who, during the Battle of Normandy, was awarded the highest order of gallantry, the Victoria Cross. Did you ever see him wearing that medal? No. He would have considered it the height of vulgarity.

Blacker launched a complaint about the judge’s comments to the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office. But earlier this morning it was announced that Judge Morgan was in the clear.

In a statement, the office said:

The Lord Chancellor and the President of the Queen’s Bench Division, on behalf of the Lord Chief Justice, have dismissed complaints against His Honour Judge David Wynn Morgan, a Circuit Judge sitting at Cardiff Crown Court following an investigation into his conduct.

The statement continued:

The Lord Chancellor and the President of the Queen’s Bench Division found that HHJ Morgan was entitled to challenge the appearance and status as a legal representative of Mr Alan Blacker, also known as Lord Harley and this did not amount to misconduct. HHJ Morgan has been issued with informal advice regarding how to deal with such situations in future. This is not, however, a form of rebuke or disciplinary sanction.

Responding to the finding, Blacker told Legal Cheek:

There is no such person as Mr Blacker and the Supreme Court acknowledged Lord Harley’s title in its report as is right and proper. Lord Harley refers the public to the full report on the Judiciary website rather than reading gutter press to whom his Lordship gives no audience.

Blacker’s controversial style — in conjunction with his claim to hold a vast array of qualifications and awards — has engendered outrage among elements of the legal profession.

Previously

‘Lord Harley of Counsel’ makes formal complaint against judge who criticised him for dressing ‘like something out of Harry Potter’ [Legal Cheek]