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Police: ENFORCED CHANGE FOR JUDICIAL SYSTEM

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace


There is no doubt that many of the great British public can`t believe that magistrates are unpaid volunteers. From their point of view who would want to spend considerable time and obligations for no reward. From Carlisle in the north to Penzance in the west and all points east and south  local print media have recently been pleased to accept paid advertising from the Ministry of Justice in its appeal for applicants to the magistracy. Whether in their desperation to recruit or through sheer incompetence appointments committees charged with recruitment of JPs seem still unable to weed out those for whom sitting on the bench is more a social kudos than one of the most responsible positions a volunteer can undertake.  By far the most common reason for magistrates to be sacked is failing to sit for the minimum number of times for which they have effectively agreed; 13 days annually plus a few days training.  In my opinion such a limited attendance even for a winger is not enough to produce a well trained and rehearsed justice...

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Police: ARROGANCE

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace


Perhaps one of, if not the most irritating and resented attributes bestowed upon a person or organisation is:-

ARROGANCE: an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions.

Institutional racism is a phrase that has become common parlance and it is still fiercely debated twenty years after its introduction to the English language. I would contend that institutional arrogance is a term which should be more widely recognised among mainly governmental or quasi governmental organisations notwithstanding that large public and private entities are not immune from the condition. At the very top of my personal list of those to which the epithet should be applied is the police and the Metropolitan Police in particular. Under FOI laws 1343 pieces of evidence have been lost or misplaced since 2013. Of those 1000 were lost last year. In May 2018 the mayor of London attempted to put a gloss over the Met`s lackadaisical approach to this most vital of operations; the securing of evidence in the pursuit of...

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Police: HOME ABORTION APPEAL FAILS

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace


For obvious reasons this blog has and does post on topics usually associated with magistrates courts, magistrates themselves and associated matters connected with the justice system. Today a little commented upon appeal in regard to the law on abortion was lost by Christian Concern although its underlying motivation was in all likelihood shared with right wing religious communities of other denominations. As a  non religious family man who was overjoyed at the safe delivery of a baby I have also held doubts about late onset abortion where although very unlikely a foetus might survive if given the opportunity there is an understanding that for some women an abortion is the lesser of some or many unhappy outcomes. I feel this post is apposite owing to  this week`s appointment by Donald Trump of a dedicated Catholic woman opposed to abortion to the position of Supreme Court Justice in USA.  The mere fact of her succeeding a fiercely liberal woman in the post at such short notice politically has increased interest in this topic which...

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Police: MORE EXCUSES FROM HMCTS

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace


Today I am taking the unusual step in copying below a complete page from today`s Law  Society Gazette detailing changes in magistrates courts.  These changes as indicated in the article, as readers will find, are a direct result of Tory governments cutting and slashing funds to our justice system over the last decade. Of course the official statement is that the Covid 19 epidemic has been the cause but nobody remotely concerned with our courts system will echo that because as insiders we know really what has been happening.  The very essence of our summary justice is a bench of three.  I know only too well that if that number is reduced there is too much scope for one opinion to ride roughshod over another especially with an imbalance of experience between the two and or personality profiles which might appear when there is reduced discussion. It will be very inconvenient for witnesses and/or defendants with family arrangements to be in a courtroom at 8.00pm or longer. And finally there seems to be an assumption that lawyers will be...

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Police: MAGISTRATES NEED SUPPORT

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace


Like many other Justices of the Peace when I began sitting in an actual court as a new appointee I was informed of the advantages of joining the Magistrates Association.  For a fairly small outlay I considered it a no brainer. I had in my professional life reached the rarified heights of being on the national council of the professional organisation which looked after the interests of its members including me.  Only later did I discover that the MA according to its charitable status did and does nothing to protect or support the individual member. The two magisterial colleagues, however,  who were our bench`s representatives on the MA council seemed to enjoy their position and persuaded many to attend the occasional lectures sponsored by the organisation. About seven years into my tenure I attended MA headquarters with a couple of colleagues having accepted an invitation to explore ways in which members could use their expertise in their commercial/academic/professional lives to the MA`s advantage.  I offered some suggestions and...

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Police: BEFORE YOUR VERY EYES

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace


Many interested parties have wondered what has become of so called "leadership magistrates" appointed as the toads of the Ministry of Justice three years ago the T word being used of course in its pejorative form although whether the current incumbents have thick or poisonous skins is beyond my ken. All that is known publicly are their names and regions although that information had to be dragged out of Petty France.  Further details will be found on this site by typing "leadership magistrates" in the search box.  These folk are not representative of magistrates. The only representative JPs are those elected to be chairman of their bench or representatives to the Magistrates Association the latter body annually appearing to lose its credibility to influence the MOJ.  The latest example is that it did not know exactly how many magistrates were currently on the MOJ list.  To be fair the MOJ until very recently did not know either.  It so happens the number was 1,000 less than previously accounted for. It seems that now those MOJ lackeys...

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Police: POLITICAL TRUST! UNKNOWN BUT NOT UNKNOWABLE PROBLEMS AHEAD

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace

 


A cohesive society exists on trust. Individuals who travel from strangers to friendship or closer can only experience worthwhile relationships when there is mutual trust.  Although there are millions of pages of company and commercial law many, especially small businesses, base their relationships and often their commercial success on trust. It might have been the case that in politics also trust was a given particularly at the higher levels of party politics. We are seeing every day on our television screens and in various media that now trust has completely broken down with the lies of Donald Trump being listed almost daily by fact checkers on CNN. Sad to tell that innocuous virus which doesn`t originate in China but whose origin derives from the hearts of men (men includes women in this analogy) is increasing its infiltration into our daily lives. In this country it has been constrained by ancient rules, procedures and attitudes which I fear are no longer strong enough to withhold the pressures...

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Police: A COURT REPORT IN COVENTRY LIVE BETTER NOT PUBLISHED

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
Reporting from magistrates courts is by necessity often sparse.  Indeed the public is fortunate that court reporting is still undertaken at all by local print media. The cost for publishers is often an expense ill afforded.  My last court activity was over five years ago but after seventeen years on the bench it takes sometimes only a moment or two for old memories to be revived.  And that is what happened when I read this short report.  Now admittedly there is no detail on the offender`s circumstances, his previous offending (if any) or any other material that might have been offered to the bench in mitigation.  There is no information whether as is usually the case a probation pre sentence report was presented to the bench. We do not even know if he were represented although a duty solicitor must be engaged for an offender at first appearance if there is the possibility of custody. Whether or not this was the case we just don`t know. All in all this was court reporting at the lowest level worthy of the...

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Police: TELEVISION LICENSE EVASION TO BE DE CRIMINALISED AT LAST

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
This morning I have felt as if I have visited an aged relative`s house where my memories are of long ago and don`t seem linked to the occasion yet they are because otherwise these memories would not exist; the house and its contents would be viewed as a completely new experience. Today HMCTS has listed tomorrow`s court lists on line and publicly available for all magistrates courts in England and Wales. This is undoubtedly a "shout about it from the rooftops" occasion from an organisation which has trumpeted the benefits of hundreds of millions pounds invested in new technology. It has been a long time coming. A decade ago Camberwell Green court in South London was to be the showpiece of the latest technical advances then available.  It failed miserably.  There is no doubt that Convid-19 has accelerated these latest innovations in a courts system which has systematically been deprived of capital funding these last ten years. Naturally enough I have viewed the listings at my old court.  Having...

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Police: MINISTRY OF JUSTICE IN ITS BUBBLE JUST KEEPS ON WOBBLING ALONG

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
On 22nd June I mused on judge only trials at crown court. This possibility in my opinion was based on the chaos in scheduling trials in crown courts owing to the close down caused by Convid 19. It would appear that there are about 30,000 trials awaiting a court date. Since crown courts re-opened about ten weeks ago only 250 trials have been heard in England and Wales.The delays are such that already a suspected drug dealer was ordered by HH Judge Keith Raynor to be released from prison where he had been on remand because next year was the soonest a court date could be found. The demands on space in the courts which are functioning are causing some anxiety as to possible communication and consequent jury tampering owing to the proximity of jurors to the defendants in the dock.  Indeed recently at one of the most high profile trials in recent years; that of those accused of killing PC Andrew Harper, a juror was dismissed after she was heard discussing matters with the defendants. The country`s most...

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Latest The Justice Of The Peace Stories

ENFORCED CHANGE FOR JUDICIAL SYSTEM
ARROGANCE
HOME ABORTION APPEAL FAILS
MORE EXCUSES FROM HMCTS
MAGISTRATES NEED SUPPORT

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