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Police: MUSINGS ON TUESDAY (MICRO OR MACRO?)

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace


In most observations there is the micro view and the macro view.  Either viewpoint can be illustrative of an opinion. Following are recent examples of the micro view of what purports to be our justice system in its totality.

Unlike other European countries the United Kingdom has no statute of limitations for any criminal offence except for summary offences (offences tried in the magistrates' court). In these cases criminal proceedings must be brought within 6 months.  

Last week a 74 year old male was jailed after being convicted of multiple charges of sexual abuse against a 14 year old boy between 1976 and 1979. There is no doubt that the victim`s trauma had a lifelong effect. We have no knowledge of the offender`s history; the report of what was a very unusual case is, unfortunately, truncated to say the least except that we know there was no need for a trial as he pleaded guilty.  Understandably the victim`s name is withheld but it might have been useful if the judge`s remarks including presumably the offender`s...

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Police: FINALLY COMPREHENSIVE MAGISTRATES COURTS REPORTING

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace


There is no doubt that the reporting of the goings on at our magistrates courts has gone into decline.  Previous to the pandemic I suppose that state of affairs could have been described as slow as has been posted here more than once.  I would opine that the situation can  now be described as dead slow.  I feel it is only a matter of time before we reach that next and final stage where I hope live televising of selected courts will fill the gap.  Meantime two recent cases have caught my eye because they demonstrate two aspects of alleged criminality and the reports are unusually comprehensive although as many observers point out  only those actually in court to hear all the evidence would be in a position to make reasoned comment. Since magistrates courts` proceedings have never been courts of record I would say that that aforementioned criticism is facetious and unhelpful.  

Sacked magistrate Richard Page`s supposed transgressions have been documented here since his unfortunate saga began many years ago. ...

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Police: PRISON REFORM//A TEST FOR OUR FUTURE SOCIETY

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace


LIBERTY:- the quality or state of being free: a : the power to do as one pleases. b : freedom from physical restraint. c : freedom from arbitrary or despotic control. d : the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges. 

And of course there are other definitions along similar lines of thought but those will suffice for now.  And it is precisely the loss of that liberty as a punishment in itself which is now one of the purposes of imprisonment. It wasn`t always so.  Hard labour or penal servitude was not abolished in this country until 1948.  The prison population of England & Wales quadrupled in size between 1900 and 2017 with around half of this increase taking place since 1990. There are currently around 80,000 convicts in England and Wales that number having reduced by around 6% since the onset of the pandemic. Treatment of those incarcerated has been a political and social hot potato since the days of Elizabeth Fry 1780-1845. Allied with arguments over sentencing, ...

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Police: THEIR LORDSHIPS` PRICE OF 1000 PIECES OF SILVER

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace


There`s an old adage that a cat can look at a king. In my forays on Twitter I`ve been criticised by the occasional lawyer that I`m only a retired lay magistrate so what do I know.  But there are occasions when that lowly cat can indeed not only look at a king but can offer a loud miewowwww.  The situation in Hong Kong is one of those occasions. The "handover" in 1997 to the Republic of China allowed for certain rights as existed under British rule to be retained for fifty years. The continuation of the legal system was one of those rights. However as is well known to readers China has abrogated these and other rights of HongKongers. The king that this cat is making noises off is no less than a former president of the UK Supreme Court; a certain Lord Neuberger.  It has been announced by the Chinese that he along with another former Supreme Court judge Lord Walker have agreed not only to continue sitting on Hong Kong`s final court of appeal but to extend their contracts for a further three years. This at a time...

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Police: QUOTA:THE FORBIDDEN WORD DIVIDING MAGISTRATES AND SOCIETY

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace


In many parts of our daily lives merit seems to have been thrown out of the window, overboard or left behind; whatever metaphor suits your style. Many major decisions on myriad areas of our lives are based on identity politics, levelling up (or down), anti this or anti that or dare it be said, quotas the term that hides in shame from being discovered as the truth to defy another oft quoted term; privilege and increasingly often white privilege. In some activities it is at a risk of being denounced as racialist or being a racist that defines an individual. Observing that in so many fictional crime series on TV the police officer in charge is female will bring forth the accusation of misogyny or worse still if that character is played by a black actor. Remarking that many TV commercials seem to be using black or ethnic minority actors far in excess of the 13% of the population that is BAME risks outright abuse or worse. Whatever the sins of past omission the luvvies and the industries around them are...

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Police: COURT TV MUST SURELY BE COMING

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace


Watching Prime Minister`s Questions today I couldn`t fail to remember that it was as long ago as 1989 when the House of Commons debates and proceedings were first broadcast live to the great British public. It had taken eleven attempts (all but the last defeated) and 22 years for the necessary legislation to succeed. Yesterday I happened to switch on "Court TV" to witness the live screening of juror number 2 being questioned by defence and prosecuting lawyers in the George Floyd trial preliminaries prior to the opening of the trial in Minneapolis which will be televised live. And to cap it this morning on Twitter as on most other days I read a series of news reports and reporters informing the world of video evidence not being available to report, of a dearth of reporters actually reporting events, of reporters being barred from proceedings and various other reasons why only the headline crimes make news these days and so much lower level crime is thus under reported. Add to the mix that as a result of THAT INTERVIEW more...

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Police: FOR RICHARD PAGE EX JP THE END OF THE LINE

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace


The end of the line has come for ex JP Richard Page. His appeal against dismissal has been rejected.  The full sad story before this denouement  is available in my previous posts by putting "Richard Page" in search box. I hope as an atheist that if other magistrates who are god fearing of any other religion apart from Christianity are subject to similar investigation they will be subject to similar sanction.  If an orthodox Jewish JP or a Sharia observant Muslim JP  were to fall foul of the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office and is seen to be treated differently all hell should break loose.  



Police: JUSTICE NOT SEEN TO BE DONE

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace


I would assume that most readers here will be familiar with the phrases; "now you see it now you don`t", "what aboutery" in relation to arguments, "tactical deception" and others similar. Whilst individually they might refer to different scenarios they have a common thread which is to deflect and/or to deceive an opposing party into believing that an action physical, verbal,  or military will be opposite to that expected by the onlooker,  debater or enemy. The Ministry of Justice with its public relations and advertising spending hidden from public view is a master of those aforesaid tactics. 


In the last couple of months media have been bombarded with stories of how throttling is to be made a crime, secret justice in the magistrates courts and that rape complainants [often wrongly written and spoken of as "victims"] will be offered opportunity to give evidence at a distance and /or to a court cleared of the public: all this whilst as a result of the deliberate policies during the last decade of slashing the MOJ budget by eg...

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Police: WHEN IN ROME? MACCLESFIELD? DO AS THE TURKISH

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace


It is of no great surprise when visual media covering visits of female  royalty or lesser supposed personalities or leaders to middle eastern countries publish images of said visitors dressed in such a manner that we are told they are paying respect to the mores of those host countries.  These outward manifestations of "respect" would often include the wearing of head coverings of a form associated with the Muslim religion and or trousers when that form of dress would be unusual in a western setting.  Most observers would not in any way offer criticism.  For mere mortals visiting such countries following local modesty rules is more than just out of politeness or respect it is an absolute necessity to avoid falling foul of local gendarmerie and a possible jail sentence or forced deportation. For visitors to this country or immigrants the British and especially Londoners are and have always been tolerant to  seeing people attired in all manner of national costumes from the lavish colours of the silk dresses of...

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Police: A SNAPSHOT OF BRITISH JUSTICE 2021 STYLE

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace


Being retired from any job allows time for some introspection.  As a retired magistrate who has enjoyed sharing his opinions since 2009 this freedom has offered me opportunities to muse on matters of national importance and occasionally to comment [criticise?] on real time happenings at magistrates courts.  Today`s effort is one of those times.

I was active when dedicated domestic violence courses became compulsory for any JP who sat or wished to sit in those courts. I recollect at the time that the providers were heavily dependent on statistics from USA and very much dedicated to male on female violations. I would imagine that such courses have been modified since then.  However a recent case at Grays Magistrates Court caught my eye. As bad a case it is possible to be heard outside the crown court. Indeed from the report it seems it was undercharged resulting in a suspended custodial sentence for the offender.  Readers can access the matter here and it is refreshing to note the detail often omitted these days from the...

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Latest The Justice Of The Peace Stories

MUSINGS ON TUESDAY (MICRO OR MACRO?)
FINALLY COMPREHENSIVE MAGISTRATES COURTS REPORTING
PRISON REFORM//A TEST FOR OUR FUTURE SOCIETY
THEIR LORDSHIPS` PRICE OF 1000 PIECES OF SILVER
QUOTA:THE FORBIDDEN WORD DIVIDING MAGISTRATES AND SOCIETY

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