Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh is facing disciplinary charges for allegedly collecting funds without transmitting them to the government treasury and destroying magistrates’ notes, vouchers, and government property.
The Judicial and Legal Services Commission (JLSC) has been investigating Walsh’s conduct for several months following allegations made by Hildred Simpson, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Legal Affairs.
An attempt was made to initiate the investigation in October 2022 while Walsh was serving as Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), but Walsh obtained an injunction by arguing that Simpson had overstepped her authority.
Despite this, the Commission continued the investigation and appointed Justice Godfrey Smith to lead the probe, which gave Walsh an opportunity to respond.
On Monday, Judge Jan Drysdale denied the Chief Magistrate’s application for interim relief against the Commission, stating that there was a lack of substantial evidence to support the allegations of any abuse of process by the Commission.
Walsh will now face the 10 disciplinary charges laid against her, and a hearing will be held to determine her future.