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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Tuesday, 4 March 2014


It seems unlikely that the withdrawal of barristers` services from court proceedings will not go ahead on Friday March 7th.  As is the case in such disputes one side  will raise the ante until a blink is observed in the tremulous eye of the other.  One does not need to go to the Crimea to see such action and reaction in practice.  London has its own face off between the local chief prosecutor at the CPS and the  heads of chambers in the capital.  It is to be hoped that in this face off  the shots of defiance will be purely rhetorical.  However if anything demonstrates why an independent bar is so necessary for the defence of the rule of law it is the attempted polite blackmail implicit in  CPS London Chief Baljit Ubhey`s letter.  Already the government`s recently inaugurated Public Defender System about which I commented on 21/01/2014 is coming under fire.  Can it really be the case that the government`s long term ambition  is  to emasculate the independent criminal bar at least at its lower levels?   Is it really the case that the government`s long term ambition is to emasculate the independent lay magistracy?   Ten years ago such questions would have been thought of as the ravings of a paranoid commenter.  That old adage, “Just because you`re paranoid doesn`t mean they`re not out to get you,” comes to mind.

On a lighter note as a fan of Monty Python the Fish Slapping Dance was incomparable and the epitome of their humour.  For an employee on the fish counter in an Asda supermarket in Acrington  it wasn`t much fun being slapped with a wet haddock or similar.  Soon the assailants should face the scales of justice.

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