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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Wednesday, 13 November 2013
MINORITY REPORT GUIDELINES
With the inevitable expected problems of the Crown Prosecution Service I find it somewhat uplifting when I am allocated to a non CPS court as was the case recently. Cases are usually well prepared and advocates capable. Of course being contracted for the purpose as many are the incentives are clear. Disregard of planning conditions, appeals against council tax liability orders for businesses and saddest of all; failure to ensure school attendance were just a few of the cases we heard and upon which we adjudicated. Our guidelines were our common sense and the range within which we determined culpability etc. Such is the way the Sentencing Council is progressing we and more particularly the higher courts are more or less within a tick box culture where everything is assumed predictable and punished accordingly. “Minority Report” and consequent disposals are nearer than anyone could have foreseen.