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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Wednesday, 24 September 2014


Non CPS courts often provide the most stimulating of sittings where logical thought,  judgement and the ability to dissect legal argument are the basis of conclusions both on verdict and sentence.  I`m thinking  particularly of breaches of enforcement notices.  But on the other hand when a morning or afternoon is spent rubber stamping decisions on liability for the now defunct and discredited Child Support Agency despair is about the description best suited to put on line.  When Council Tax committals are also on the list one cannot but have some sympathy for a few of those who come before us.  They are the few whose lives are in such turmoil that any “safety net” provided by government or charity has netting with such gaps that one can only attempt to ameliorate their situation whilst applying the law as generously as possible.  It`s assumed we`ve progressed beyond the workhouse of  Victorian times but how far beyond?

At our last such sitting my colleagues and I left the building with the knowledge that as per our usual listing pattern it would be some months before we would again be assigned such a court. 

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