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 If any comment seems submitted just to advertise a website it will not be published.

Monday, 27 October 2014

LOCAL JUSTICE BELONGS IN THE DUSTBIN





I have often considered that those in Scotland responsible for matters of law `n order in all its manifestations have  a great deal more common sense in their approach than their counterparts in England & Wales with the possible exception of the recent decision to remove the need for corroboration which has been unique to Scots law.  Their decision to reduce the amount of alcohol above which the offence of driving with excess alcohol becomes effective is a case in point especially just before Christmas and Hogmanay. The imposition of a Scottish national police force is a prime example of the national good overriding the petty czars  who resisted the change.  Those in opposition cited the “local policing” for local people argument.  The same argument has been used regarding magistrates` courts insofar as the presiding lay benches should reflect the local population.  This, so the argument goes, allows local knowledge to be applied and for respect given to the benches` ethnic composition.  This is all so much flim flam.  Local justice areas are gradually being enlarged.  It is only a matter of time until  they will be effectively eliminated. National Sentencing Guidelines were inaugurated  above all to eliminate what could be described as post code sentencing or in simple terms to reduce variations in sentencing in different areas of the country for what was considered similar offending.  I am unaware that District Judges are appointed only to courts where they have a local connection.   Perhaps at some not too distant time the Ministry of Justice will recognise that we have had national justice imposed and consign to the dustbin of unwanted political garbage the term “local justice”.

2 comments:

  1. Perhaps not quite related to the post, but did you read the article on Sunday

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/11188350/Pop-up-courts-for-speeding-fine-cases.html

    from our friends in the MoJ who have spent the last few years decimating local courts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This supposed initiative would have two purposes sought by this government:-

      1.Another ploy to get J.P.s out of our courts and reduced to low level arbitrators thus allowing a further argument for District Judges to reign supreme in the lower courts

      2.These people`s courts......sounds vaguely familiar?.........would cost a lot less than crown court appeals.

      nuff said

      Delete