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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Friday, 18 October 2013

DIFFERENT ROUTE BUT SAME RESULT


“Picton” has laid out a structure by which applications for adjournments should be examined. More often than not my experience is that an application to adjourn by whichever side is opposed even if that opposition appears to be formulaic.


Not so long ago a s.4 charge was listed against a defendant based upon the statements of the only two prosecution witnesses; the complainants. One of them had a verified and very acceptable reason for her non appearance with only minimal notice. On the basis that without her evidence the prosecution would struggle to win their case an application to adjourn was made. Defence lawyer was quickly on his feet asking us to consider it a joint application on the grounds that his client would be prejudiced by that complainant`s not being available for cross examination. We agreed the adjournment wondering what was in the absentee`s statement to bring about such a decision.


Sitting as a magistrate is rarely if ever a formulaic event even in the most mundane and repetitive of situations.

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