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, 24 March 2014

FOOT IN MOUTH DISEASE



As a presiding magistrate I am only too aware that I have to think carefully in making any off the cuff remarks in court and there are many opportunities and occasions when such remarks are necessary.  Each occasion offers the possibility of going off piste to such a degree that it is not unlikely that somebody or other will find cause to complain.  Indeed within the confines of the court building a three second speech delay as in the Radio 1 presenters` handbook for beginners is a required tool for a J.P. in this most politically correct   arena.  All this leads me to the remarks made by HH  Judge David Hale at Mold Crown Court.  The usual brief court report is no basis for undue criticism but if His Honour`s remarks had been about eg a Pakistani immigrant and not a Polish one or another ethnic or national group member I venture to suggest that there would have been a possibility of these remarks reaching a wider audience. 

I am not unconcerned that we as Justices of the Peace seem to be  held to higher standards of behaviour than our senior professional colleagues  by those who oversee our conduct.  Perhaps my antennae are over sensitive or perhaps as lay magistrates we are more inclined to retain some facets of that ordinary fellow on the Clapham omnibus from which personality pool we are appointed.

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