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 If any comment seems submitted just to advertise a website it will not be published.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014


Drinking and smoking are rarely out of the news the former activity being involved in perhaps half of all cases heard at magistrates` courts.  I have yet to be involved in a matter of smoking in a restricted environment.  Abortion is a word never previously written in this blog.  However it appears that the British way of muddling through some forms of legislation eg The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 is with us once again. 

In 2012 there were 729,674 live births in the U.K.  The Court of Appeal is soon to hear a case of a six year old child allegedly damaged by her  mother’s  drinking during her pregnancy.  Foetal Alcohol Syndrome apparently is now involved in 1%  of all births.  This is an enormous number of babies at risk to a greater or lesser extent.  To put that in context: in the early 1960s about 12,000 children worldwide were born with various handicaps including malformed limbs their mothers having used the drug thalidomide during their pregnancy.  Of these births about 2,000 were in this country.  The law is, by all accounts, shortly to be involved with those who smoke in their cars whilst a child is also present.  There are those who consider this a step too far even for the nanny state that we have become.  However, whilst offering no opinion on that, I would draw attention to the fact that the  same legal system allows the abortion of healthy foetuses up to 24 weeks gestation.  I make no comment on the rights or wrongs or whys or wherefores of this legislation.  I would. however, sit this legislation alongside the two previous mentioned situations.  To the alien sitting on a Martian omnibus is it not unusual logic which can allow governments to weave such strange designs?


  1. "However, whilst offering no opinion on that, I would draw attention to the fact that the same legal system allows the abortion of healthy foetuses up to 24 weeks gestation."

    Is that a back handed way of saying you disapprove of this? Its possibly worth dusting off your law books - because it is only permitted when two doctors believe it is in the best interests of the expectant mother (usually for mental health reasons).

    I'm not sure it would seem preposterous to an alien bus traveller that a government provides a means to terminate pregnancy where there is a compelling reason, but expects those who continue a pregnancy to show reasonable care for their child before and after birth?

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