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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Monday, 4 November 2013

NOT MORE LAW//APPLY EXISTING LAW



“Teachers, doctors and social workers who fail to report concerns over suspected cases of child abuse should face criminal charges, one of Britain’s most senior barristers has said”.  That is the opening paragraph quoting the words of Keir Starmer in today`s  Independent.  Keir Starmer was until very recently England`s top prosecutor.  It never ceases to surprise me how often people in powerful positions wait until they`ve moved on before making controversial policy statements.  

The three classes of professionals quoted, one would hope, have the personal and professional integrity in addition to any contract to blow the whistle when events appear to justify it.  I could be described as uninformed on this topic just as most of my fellow citizens are but it would seem that there is a legal framework  already in place which would justify those with responsibility directly or indirectly who shirk, ignore or abuse that responsibility being charged with a criminal offence.  If such terms were part of employment contracts for those who could conceivably bear some responsibility for any malpractice no additional legislation would be required.  In addition if Mr Starmer`s argument leads to legislation it will surely cause more problems than it would solve.  Ever more people would be brought within its net however innocent they were.  The Old Bailey trial which is headline news is an example of where existing legislation albeit applied after far too long a delay shows that further curbs on news media via a Royal Charter are totally unnecessary.  We have enough legislation to detect and punish paedophiles if it were applied efficiently and consistently.  What  we don`t need is a witch hunt.   

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