"Judicial office holders should be acutely aware of the need to conduct themselves, both in and out of court, in such a way as to maintain public confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary.
Blogging by members of the judiciary is not prohibited. However, officer (sic) holders who blog (or who post comments on other people’s blogs) must not identify themselves as members of the judiciary. They must also avoid expressing opinions which, were it to become known that they hold judicial office, could damage public confidence in their own impartiality or in the judiciary in general.
The above guidance also applies to blogs which purport to be anonymous. This is because it is impossible for somebody who blogs anonymously to guarantee that his or her identity cannot be discovered.
Judicial office holders who maintain blogs must adhere to this guidance and should remove any existing content which conflicts with it forthwith. Failure to do so could ultimately result in disciplinary action. It is also recommended that all judicial office holders familiarise themselves with the new IT and Information Security Guidance which will be available shortly."
All eyes are now on this renowned Magistrate's blog to see how he reacts........
So long as judges "avoid expressing opinions which.... could damage public confidence in their own impartiality or in the judiciary in general" why can't they blog as judges. They can give interviews, write books, newspaper and magazine articles and lecture as judges so long as they do not compromise their impartiality - why can't they write on blogs as judges? What is the difference? Sir Stephen Sedley recently published a whole set of writings he put into the public domain whilst also being a judge (mostly in the London Review of Books) - nobody complained (I assume). The late Lord Bingham did the same.
It is going to be interesting to see how this develops........