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Police: COURT CLOSURES ARE A PRELUDE TO ANARCHY

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
Within the legal fraternity in its widest definition there used to be a belief in the concept of "local justice".  In the centuries that magistrates` courts have been in existence "local" has been extended from parish, to district, to borough, to county, to region. Now the terms under which magistrates undertake their duties specify that their remit is "national".  When the Ministry of Justice initiated its closure programme for courts in 2010 faint objections were made on the grounds of accessibility. These objections are now at their height when the predictions of "justice denied" owing to travel times and costs made by parliamentarians and court workers have proved accurate. It was widely reported that the MOJ insisted that even for court appearances in rural areas eg Cumbria and Northumbria, Devon and Cornwall, North Wales and East Anglia  no witnesses would be be required to travel on public transport for longer than one hour.  That commitment has always been denied by the MOJ.

On March 3rd 2018 The Times published...

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Police: MISSED OPPORTUNITY

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
Recently the big chief of the Magistrates Association was interviewed by The Times for its law pages.  Even a man from Mars would have thought that that would be a perfect opportunity for this representative of 15,000 JPs to have made plain the ramifications for justice of the Ministry of Justice`s cost cutting and incompetence over the last few years especially when the prisons and the courts are still reeling from the policies of a certain Chris Grayling; perhaps the most incompetent cabinet minister of the last decade although there are others vying for that honour. How more wrong could our alien have been. Apart from slight gentlemanly veiled criticism of the effect on travelling times to court for some and innocuous comments on recruitment an opportunity to say it like it is was neglected.  I have no doubt that this was no oversight. The virtual removal of legal aid at magistrates` courts, the never ending problems of interpretation services, the emasculation of probation services not forgetting the financial tie up the M.A. has with...

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Police: COURT CLOSURES UPDATE

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
Latest information on court closures:-




Police: SALAMI SLICING OUR FREEDOM

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
Changes have been made to our justice system in the last two decades which would have raised cries of horror from parliamentarians of the 19th and 20th centuries who were as concerned with liberties for the populace as they were with party politics. During my time on the bench ASBOs became the easy way to control behaviour which some described as arbitrary; a seemingly innocuous civil order which opened the door to five years custody if broken. This was followed by Drink Banning Orders in 2010. All they do is displace the problem drinker from one area to another. If ever legislation is seen to be like moving the chairs on the deck of the Titanic DBOs are a prime example.  CRASBOs, Criminal Anti Social Behaviour Orders followed; another attempt by the Home Office under Teresa May to limit the options of those who might have behaved not in accordance with some unstated standards. Since my retirement Community Protection Notices have been a favoured method of exerting control over those deemed to have caused some sort of offence to...

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Police: AN IGNORANT BARONESS

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace

House of Lords 3rd July 2018

Read below the enlightening remarks of an unelected law maker. Booted upstairs she spouts this rubbish.  If she believes it she ought to know the Sentencing Guidelines. If she`s looking for publicity by being outspoken she should resign.  One more reason to abolish the House of Lords.

Baroness Corston Labour


My Lords, I, too, welcome the fact that the Government have abandoned their prison building programme in favour of women’s community centres. That is certainly better than anything that happened under the coalition. However, I point out to the Minister that in 2017 one-quarter of the women sentenced to prison were serving sentences of less than one month, and 217 women were sentenced to less than two weeks. What action are the Government going to take to stop magistrates imposing these ludicrous sentences?


Police: WHEN LEGAL ADVISERS BARE THEIR TEETH

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace


J.P.s are appointed on the basis of their possessing many of the qualities thought to be necessary to do the job. Whether the job template needs altering is another matter for another time. Although there are lawyers on the bench there are also many other highly qualified people and some not so qualified in academic terms. The legal adviser is there to ensure that decisions made by justices are lawful although that does not preclude a very small minority of decisions going to appeal. I myself have been on a bench whose decision on a property matter some years ago went to appeal at the Queens Bench Division; it failed. Over the fog of time I recollect that our legal adviser when told of our original decision was surprised but when she heard of our structured approach to reach that decision admitted it could not be faulted. And that is as it should be. In my opinion she performed her duty to the letter…..that her conclusion might have differed from ours had she been on the bench instead of in front of it is not relevant. 

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Police: PUTNEY BRIDGE JOGGER JOGS FREE

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
We are often told that this country is the most image recorded in the world. There are an estimated 5 million cameras between John O Groats and Lands End and the density of such technology is highest in London and the major cities. In the capital the central boroughs including the Cities of London and Westminster are the most densely packed with such optical technology.  Putney Bridge, a major traffic artery over the River Thames, has cameras yet all this technical innovation, some would say police snooping, was unable to identify a jogger who last August attempted to injure or worse a woman pedestrian on the bridge. When accessing said webcam today it is no surprise; the picture is blank at 11.15am.   Or is a more likely reason that a man attempting murder has got off scot free because the Met Police are so thin on the ground that they can`t devote the resources to catch somebody who didn`t actually succeed in his criminality?


Police: FRAUD RUNNER

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
Sourcing news which might be of interest to magistrates especially when returning to the keyboard after a time away rarely fails to surprise.  But surprise doesn`t do justice IMHO to the man who was jailed for assuming the identity of a registered runner at the London Marathon.  He was convicted of *fraud by false representation; an either way offence. The report is available here.  It would seem that the sentence of four months custody was based on the court`s maximum with one third discount for a guilty plea.  It is not unlikely that sentencing for the other offences was concurrent. My question is just how on earth could a lay bench justify in these times such a heavy sentence. Of course we know nothing about any previous convictions he might have had but considering that only about 4% of those sentenced at the lower court receive a custodial sentence this outcome seems arbitrary.  I would opine that if his representative did not immediately file an appeal against sentence there and then she failed in her professional duty.  About a half of...

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Police: THE END OF JUSTICES OF THE PEACE IS NIGH

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
Having enjoyed the fruits and benefits of a Mediterranean lifestyle albeit including the facilities of air conditioning, superb swimming  and poolside overeating and drinking I am surprised that I have found no comment here or elsewhere on the MOJ`s seeking to appoint a "National Leadership Magistrate" the subject of my previous post. With so many local judicial areas advertising for new magistrates and the increasing retirements of those past their sell by date many benches will soon be constituted by those who have little or no knowledge of what once was the independent magistracy.  The Magistrates Association, a voluntary organisation paid for by subscription, at one time did actually appear to represent Justices of the Peace in their collisions with government.  It failed, however, owing to its articles of association in being a truly members` protective body akin to the BMA and individual J.P.s had no backing when faced with problems concerning their behaviour or words which were deemed to be against the ethos of...

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Police: THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE IS SEEKING A TOAD

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace

I consider the following announcement earlier today of considerable significance so I`ve stopped packing the sun cream for a minute or two to copy it below. The toady who is appointed will no more be representative of JPs than a pig is representative of farmers.  The person selected will be an arrogant bore seeking another post to justify his/her future CBE. This is just another milestone in the road to the total elimination of JPs from our court system



Expression of Interest: National Leadership Magistrate

|News|Magistrates
We are now inviting expressions of interest for the role of National Leadership Magistrate (NLM).   This is a judicial process being administered by HMCTS.
There is one vacancy, with the successful candidate taking up their position on 1 October 2018.
The closing date for expressions of interest is 6 July 2018
Term length: The NLM will serve a three-year term.
Eligibility: Eligibility criteria and requirements for the role is set out in the attached role...

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Latest The Justice Of The Peace Stories

COURT CLOSURES ARE A PRELUDE TO ANARCHY
MISSED OPPORTUNITY
COURT CLOSURES UPDATE
SALAMI SLICING OUR FREEDOM
AN IGNORANT BARONESS

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