Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.





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Thursday, 5 September 2013

DRIVING ON EMPTY



Those who have been and are currently responsible for the oversight of justice provision in this country are not fools; they are for the most part highly intelligent, well educated people just following orders as so many have done in the past and are doing so now.  Their saving grace of course is that their orders are to decimate the structures of the system as opposed to the destruction of those within it. But the mentality is similar IMHO of course.  Fear of unemployment and lack of confidence in taking their talents elsewhere provide reason enough for legislators and facilitators to continue to take actions which are undermining one of the two basic structures of our society.

There cannot be a single magistrate or criminal lawyer who has no personal experience of  failure within the Crown Prosecution Service which has unbalanced the scales of justice.  My post of August 30th was just the latest in a long line cataloging my personal experiences.  London Assembly Member Tony Arbour has compiled figures for London where the CPS was responsible for 16% of cases at Crown Courts and 20% at Magistrates Courts being held up.  To quote from his report;

23,777 cases in London’s Crown and Magistrates courts were dropped or delayed in 2012.5Failings by the prosecution and court system were to blame for four in ten (9,560) thrown out or delayed cases, working out at 184 every week. London was the worst performing region for delayed cases (16% at Crown Courts and 20% at Magistrates  Court level classed as ‘ineffective’).5 The North East had the highest number of cases being thrown out  (53% at Crown Court level and 44% at Magistrates Courts classed as ‘cracked’

And this report is from a Conservative grouping. For how much longer can such a state of affairs continue?

Last week saw a  reinvigorated  House of Commons defeat a government which wanted to take this country to yet another war.  This decision was endorsed by a recent chief of the army; a man whom we presume knows all there is to know about such matters.  He was not alone amongst his recently retired colleagues in uniform.  Government spokesmen and others bewailed the decision commenting that Britain had thereby lost its status amongst the nations.  And this after the self same government has presided over the biggest reduction in the armed forces in living memory.

There is a commonly used phrase for all this; “driving on empty”.  We are not driving on empty.  As far as our justice system goes we are coasting to a dead stop.

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