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Police: NO HONOUR IN PUBLIC OFFICE

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
Honour:- the quality of knowing and doing what is morally right.  The meaning has been distorted by many people on many occasions to justify deeds which were anything but honourable. But taking the word at its original and sometimes still current definition its application to those in public office has steadily declined over the decades since 1945.  That decline could arguably be one of the many reasons why public faith in those in public office has diminished.  When demonstrably aberrant behaviour is revealed within senior figures connected with the NHS or justice system especially in or connected to police forces an irreparable chipping away of pubic confidence is inevitable. Scandals within the recently established Scottish Police are a perfect example of the rot which has eaten away that confidence. The latest episode is the refusal of the Scottish Police Authority chair Andrew Flanagan to resign after revelations of his reprehensible activities as a senior public figure.  

There seems to be no concept of right and wrong....

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Police: ONE LAW FOR HIS HONOUR AND ANOTHER FOR J.P.s

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
With many others I have long been aware that when it suits the MOJ J.P.s are certainly considered an important part of the judiciary and must be treated as such.  When it comes to a perceived breaking or bending of the myriad rules imposed on that same judiciary J.P.s are certainly considered a species apart.  Records of disciplinary action taken against J.P.s reveal a distinct tightening of supposed judicial boundaries when compared to judges. In the last few days three highly publicised incidents where offenders and sentencers; one lay bench and two crown court judges,  were involved in cross court comment illustrate my opinion that there is one law for them (judges) and another for us (magistrates).

Before Norfolk magistrates a foul mouthed female offender left the court unhindered by anything as direct as a charge of contempt and a cooling off period behind bars as should have been applied by a bench which had more tolerance than good sense and none for public perceptions.  In contrast a crown court judge in...

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Police: PLEASE BECOME A J.P.

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
Pleas for applications to become a magistrate seem to be appearing in increasing frequency in local print media.  Generally they are merely cut and paste portions from official requirements on MOJ website and perhaps some others. Earlier this week the Manchester Evening News published yet another such plea basing its headline on the dire consequences if the current JP scarcity is not reversed. But this time the usual verbiage was supplemented by detailed opinions and observations from senior magistrates in the area.  Those ex colleagues quoted are to be congratulated.  

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Police: TRIAL BY JURY:NOT G&S

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace

The anomaly of either way offences has once more reached the higher echelons of our justice system. This time the intervention is by "Lady Justice Hallett, who sits on the Court of Appeal,(and who said) that a full jury trial could cost £20,000 for defendants accused of offences such as stealing sweets from a supermarket. She said the Government should ""remove the right to elect trial by jury in cases that simply do not warrant it"". Since the publication of two of my posts from 2009 and 2013 copied below, theft of items with a value of £200 can be tried summarily only.  However the...

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Police: FINED FOR WALKING HIS DOG

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
They do things differently in the Isle of Man.  It does seem ludicrous that this council has a bye law prohibiting dogs from walking on a grassed unused sports field.  And I`m not a pet owner.


Police: BOSS:WORKER WAGE RATIO

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace


During this relaxing if somewhat chilly  weekend I had no intentions of putting any opinions on line until I re read news of retiring managers and bosses with eye watering pension pots of £millions plus often large amounts in shares and stock options. Now in the case of  obviously successful businessmen and entrepreneurs in the mould of Richard Branson or Alan Sugar I would wish such people well to consider the disposal of the results of a lifetime`s risk in creating success. But many such pay offs are to managers, perhaps of exceptional ability, who have increased the wealth of shareholders. Do...

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Police: PUNISHMENT//WHO YOU ARE OR WHAT YOU DID?

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
It is not very often that I have urged readers to link to another blogger but the matter under consideration requires an understanding of the legal issues before the philosophical aspect of the case can be considered.  The Secret Barrister has an outstanding reputation. The case of the knife wielding medical student.......there is no knowledge of whether she has qualified with a medical degree........poses fundamental questions.  

A few years ago Sentencing Guidelines were modified so that increased fines above the normal maxima could be imposed in place of community orders where appropriate. In simple terms those offenders who could afford it could buy their way to a sentence of lesser magnitude.  It seems to me that a similar principle has been applied in the case of the above mentioned student: substitute academic and social potential for ability to pay and the judge`s reasoning is clear.  My point is that it might be clear to him but were the argument applied wholesale the justice system would be in turmoil. The...

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Police: IS POLICE PROBITY JUST A HISTORICAL REFERENCE?

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
The scandals involving senior police officers over the last decade have been discussed here and in many other media.  There is no doubt that there is something seriously rotten in the state of Denmark. This creeping bacterium has invaded the posts of Police and Crime Commissioner; an elected office, and deputies.........an appointed position.  The latest incumbent to be caught with his trousers around his ankles albeit in his past life is Andy Coles, Cambridgeshire's deputy crime commissioner.  This man would have been interviewed by senior officials around the PCC, his CV would have or should have been thoroughly investigated and his referees` opinions checked out.  It was, however, only be chance that his sordid actions as a former police officer came to light.  Is probity in all aspects of our legal, justice and police systems just a historical reference?


Police: MAGISTRATE TWEETER SHOULD RESIGN

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
Justices of the Peace hold public positions. That being so it is a fact  that not only must they have been upright in their pre J.P. lives but are held to account for their actions not necessarily just inside the confines of the courtroom.  Deviation from the straight and narrow can have devastating effects.  That being the case when this blogger signed up to  Twitter a few months ago it was with some circumspection that my keyboard did not run amok from a self imposed ten second delay for second thoughts.  Thus it is with a certain dismay I have to mention that a prominent magistrate well known for his IT skills has allowed his prejudices to become public in the aforementioned public debating forum.  Nick Harrington tweeted two days ago, 
As some readers might be aware I am the antithesis of being politically correct and a convinced Brexiteer but the above reference to gypsies is totally unacceptable. If anybody is in doubt just substitute "Muslims" or "Jews" or "homosexuals" in his Tweet.  This man should do the honourable thing and resign from the magistracy before he is subjected to the inevitable investigation.


Police: LIB DEMS OFFER LEGAL CANNABIS

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
The Monster Raving Loony Party regularly offered voters many improbable benefits if the electorate suddenly became part of that Mad Hatter`s Tea Party.  The Lib Dems from election to election propagate a somewhat similar line. But today they offer a change so frighteningly simple that no previous political party has had the cohones to dare even suggest such an innovation; the legalisation and regulation of cannabis. Of course it will not happen this time but as an unexplored way of raising billions of pounds some chancellor sometime will persuade a prime minister and his/her colleagues that this would be a no brainer.




Latest The Justice Of The Peace Stories

NO HONOUR IN PUBLIC OFFICE
ONE LAW FOR HIS HONOUR AND ANOTHER FOR J.P.s
PLEASE BECOME A J.P.
TRIAL BY JURY:NOT G&S
FINED FOR WALKING HIS DOG

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