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, 23 June 2014

A KITE FLYING OVER PETTY FRANCE

The Ministry of Justice is really becoming repetitious in devising out of court tasks for magistrates. Our numbers are falling like the winter rain in the Western Isles. Various reasons are behind this drastic drop in numbers; the age profile of J.P.s, reduction in new appointees owing to fewer offenders coming to court, reduced number of courts and increasing numbers of District Judges. The MOJ and Magistrates Association talk up the wondrous world of out of court opportunities for my colleagues and me....magistrates in the community, mediation, local rehabilitation councils or similar, oversight of police fixed notices etc etc. The latest such wheeze is the flying of a proposal to put magistrates on the parole board not as individuals as now is the case, but in an institutional fashion to oversee the early release of various classes of prisoners. There is no official notice anywhere within the MOJ or Parole Board websites of this proposal. Almost certainly it`s another kite flying over Petty France. My fear is that it will be be treated with some seriousness by my colleagues when instead it should be ridiculed for the nonsense it really is.

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