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Police: THE NOT VERY CANNY FOLK AT THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
The financial acumen of the people who service the Ministry of Justice has never been a pre - requisite for employment.  Indeed government in general of whatever department has been infamous for selling off assets at giveaway prices the most scandalous of all being Gordon Brown`s selling our gold at a time when the market was at its lowest for years. In 2010 the MOJ began the great court sell off.  Buildings deemed superfluous to need were closed and most but not all were sold to a first come first served bidder. Wantage magistrates court was one of the first closures. It shut its doors in 2010 under the orders of that great EU fanatic and so called man of the people with his crumpled suits and hush puppies; Kenneth Clarke. It took six more years for a buyer to come forward and by then the MOJ were glad to get rid of it and get rid of it they did for  £657,000. I am not a chartered surveyor or property expert but it seems to me that the buyer was a very shrewd cookie indeed. Including the adjoining police...

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Police: 18 IS TOO YOUNG TO BE A MAGISTRATE

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
In 2012 the minimum age for magistrates was reduced from 27 to 18. I considered that a gross error at the time and still do.  The current minimum age for voting is also 18. The Representation of the People Act 1969 lowered the voting age from 21 to 18, with effect from 1970 and remained in force until the Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013 which allowed 16 year olds to vote for the first time but only in Scotland and only in that particular referendum. Soldiers cannot be sent into combat until 18. Jurors cannot sit until 18. In contrast however.  Felons under 21 may not be sentenced to a whole life order and so must become eligible for parole. Many (most?) car rental companies stipulate a minimum age of 21 although some allow 18 year olds to rent very small cars. The legal minimum age to enter into a marriage in England and Wales is 16 although this requires consent of parents and guardians if a participant is under eighteen. 

From the sample above it is obvious that age restriction rules are arbitrary. Physiologists...

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Police: THE COST OF PUBLIC RELATIONS AT M.O.J.

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
From time to time I have commented, often disparagingly, on the press/public relations department of the Ministry of Justice.  Latest figures on that department are that currently there are 31 employees at a cost of..........comprising employee salary along with employer pension and National Insurance contributions........£2,354,000. This represents 0.03% of the MOJ budget.

I don`t know how this compares with other central government departments but on the surface this F.O.I. answer appears to be less than I would have thought although with Failing Grayling doing his stuff at Transport MOJ staff have less hard work to do.  They only have to justify excessive closures of magistrates courts, fewer than needed magistrates and judges, elimination of legal aid, excessive trial delays and much else. 



Police: FAILING GRAYLING IS POLITICS TODAY

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
Over the last five years I have not been alone in castigating the "improvements" brought about by the former Justice Secretary Chris Grayling. Indeed quick use of the search box will indicate just what a catastrophe this incompetent man has been.  Reinforcing the fact that it was not a departmental failing of one sort or another today brings news of his ramshackle approach in his current job as Transport Secretary which has once more cost the taxpayers of the UK £millions.  The fact that Maymustgo (to employ a well used Twitter handle)  has kept this arrogant stupid man in position is yet just another facet of what the Brexit farce has brought us. He is an arch Brexiteer she dare not sack. This is politics today.


Police: MUSINGS ON WEDNESDAY 2

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
I offer just a few points of reference for today.

Prosecutions for road traffic offences have fallen by two thirds since 2010.  I doubt that driving standards have improved so much in that time.  The only possible explanation is that with fewer police on patrol fewer miscreants have been apprehended. The numbers are here

The government is totally to blame for the current shortage of magistrates. The number of two person benches is on the rise precisely because of the shortage. But in the true tradition of government obfuscation we are told no statistics are kept on these events.  This is ridiculous. It would take but an instant to note these numbers given that every case is associated with the names of those JPs who sat on the occasion(s) in question. 

For examples of how the nasally inclined public school accented women in charge of the magistracy are allowed to rant and divert attention from actual problems readers could do worse than spending an hour or so watching the recent meeting of the House of Commons Justice Committee where...

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Police: TV IN OUR COURTS IS INEVITABLE

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
Last week the Guardian published a lengthy article on the demise of court reporting.  It is a fact based information piece that offers no solutions to the perceived deficit. However these facts do not tell the whole story.  As I have posted here from time to time there are regular all day as it happens magistrates courts reports countrywide.  Insert court reporting in the search box. 

There is no doubt in my mind that it is a matter of "when" and not "if" live TV webcasts of all our courts  are common place.  These of course would have to be funded by commercial means.  The argument most often promulgated against such broadcasting is that the medium would become more significant that the legal process.  We are told that witnesses and more importantly barristers would perform for the cameras. Similar arguments were made by opponents to the televising of the House of Commons. With the Supreme Court`s proceedings a regular legal fixture I look forward to the day when I can choose to view the daily happenings at my local courts or...

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Police: THE SUN SETS ON LAY MAGISTRATES

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
The government departments which have the greatest influence over the manner of the work that Justices of the Peace undertake are, surprise surprise, the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice. In May 2006 a previous Home Secretary John Reid admitted that when he was the incumbent the department was "not fit for purpose".  His honesty then has been borne out many times since.  The current prime minister oversaw so many failings when she was Reid`s successor it should have been a red light to her colleagues when she was placed in Downing Street purely as the least objectionable of a rum lot. But the lemmings in the Tory Party allowed themselves to be led towards the inevitable cliff where her and their incompetence are likely to bring at the best,  years of political and economic problems and street violence and a Marxist government at worst. 

Faced with the problem of the Isis teenager from East London telling the media she has no regrets over her actions and expecting public sympathy the current Home Secretary touted by some...

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Police: DECRIMINALISE DRUG USE

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
I have long been in favour of the decriminalisation of drugs which are currently prohibited; heroin, cocaine and marijuana and the derivatives manufactured to get round current regulations which are sometimes more lethal than the originals on which they are based.  In the case of marijuana many jurisdictions have already legalised the drug in particular form.  The swinging sixties so called was an era of "weed" or "joint" or "squiff" the active ingredient of which is  tetrahydrocannabinol. However, already more than 70 different cannabinoids have been identified so far. These compounds have a chemical structure that is much related to THC, but their biological effects are quite different.  The current popular derivative among users is commonly called "skunk" which is a vastly different product and has more serious side effects than its ancestor of half a century ago.  Users of this and other prohibited substances have no knowledge of what they are taking and almost every day news media contain tragic stories of the effects of these...

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Police: ASLEEP ON THE BENCH

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
It seems a judge, not just a HH but a High Court judge  has been caught sleeping on the job. Unlike JPs who fail similarly she was allowed to remain in post. For an entertaining recent history of such failings read my post of 14th August 2015.


Police: SOMETIMES DETERRENCE REALLY DOES WORK

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace

It is perhaps not widely known that when a defendant is fined at court after conviction the fine is payable immediately and sometimes, just sometimes, it is paid immediately. There are those, however, who appear to treat the whole court and legal process as an interruption to their feckless relentless life of contempt for any kind of authority. Reading regularly in various publications of the amount of unpaid fines, £500 million, a £billion or even more........who knows the exact figure at any time.........reminded me of an experience shortly before my retirement. 

Joe faced fine and various court costs of £190.00 and when told the sum was due on the spot protested he had no money. When he was asked that knowing he was coming to court to plead guilty had he not realised he would be fined he moved his head inconsequentially. After another ineffectual exchange he was told to turn his pockets out. He refused. The jailers were told to take him to the cells and have his pockets emptied. Shouting obscenities he was led...

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Latest The Justice Of The Peace Stories

THE NOT VERY CANNY FOLK AT THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
18 IS TOO YOUNG TO BE A MAGISTRATE
THE COST OF PUBLIC RELATIONS AT M.O.J.
FAILING GRAYLING IS POLITICS TODAY
MUSINGS ON WEDNESDAY 2

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