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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Thursday, 4 December 2014


Unlike that hallowed organisation the NHS the majority of the population has no contact with “Justice”.  And those who do, especially within the criminal division, do not deserve public sympathy. At least that must be the thinking behind the coalition`s decision making since 2010 culminating in LASPO which further removed state aid to those faced with prosecution.  The very concept of treating the civil justice system as a business which should pay for itself and even be profitable is an abomination.  Grayling and his cohorts have ravaged and are ravaging what was arguably one of the fairest justice systems  in operation anywhere.  Now it appears that senior figures are beginning to rise above the battlements in what might be judicially described as opposition.

The mutiny in the prison trial has ended in ignominy for Genghis  Grayling.  The judicial review goings on in parliament show that this government has lost all moral sense.  Control control control..........that seems to be the mantra.  Fewer represented defendants in the magistrates` courts will lead to increased conviction of parties bereft of legal representation.  Legal advisors are there to assist such people but IMHO we J.P.s must become more pro active when circumstances demand otherwise we could be complicit in convicting those where the evidence fails to reach the required threshold.  When such a defendant fails to ask that most obvious (to us) question when cross examining a witness are we to sit shtoom in the name of being impartial or are we to assist in the levelling of the judicial playing field?  It is inevitable that such considerations are going to enter the minds of all of us if they haven`t already.  I referred in my last post that my decisions in court do not keep me awake at night.  On the same basis I prefer to level the playing field if such levelling contributes to the enactment in practice of    “I, _________ , do swear by Almighty God that I will well and truly serve our Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth the Second in the office of ________ , and I will do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of this realm, without fear or favour, affection or ill will.

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