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.
Comments are usually moderated. However, I do not accept any legal responsibility for the content of any comment. If any comment seems submitted just to advertise a website it will not be published.
Friday, 25 October 2013
A POOR REFLECTION ON THE MAGISTRATES` ASSOCIATION
The Magistrates` Association has had its A.G.M. and surprise, surprise, the world has not stopped spinning. But what was spun by media was one of the two motions for debate about which I posted on 8th October. The motion (“this Annual General Meeting believes that the present oath and affirmation are no longer fit for purpose and should be replaced by the following: ‘I promise very sincerely to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth and I understand that, if I fail to do so, I will be committing an offence for which I will be punished and may be sent to prison,”) was lost.
I was not present at the meeting but judging by the video report fewer than 100 colleagues attended. Considering that J.P. chairmen in court should be rather capable public speakers the quality of oratory presented was rather poor. The content in general did not address the proposer`s theme that the interests and quality of justice must be the fundamental argument. The motion was defeated on a paltry show of hands and the debate lasted no more than 25 minutes.
This performance was one that did the M.A. and democracy in its widest terms no benefit. A tiny coterie of those entitled to be present was present. A vote amongst those produced a result which has as much significance as a vote for a white Christmas.
One would be hard put to find a clearer demonstration of how non representative the M.A. really is. This should be the last time such matters should be voted upon using the tools and tricks of the red baron union leaders of the 1970s. Future motions for debate should themselves be voted upon by the whole membership on line with a similar substantive vote thereafter.