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, 4 March 2015


When a foreign  defendant on police bail makes his first appearance on an either way matter involving fraudulent documents the question for the bench is whether to offer conditional bail as police have done, to consider additional conditions or to remand in custody.  We were in such a situation earlier this week.  The current conditions were residence, curfew and reporting.  It took us  a full two seconds in a huddle to ask ourselves why no travel restrictions and surrender of travel documents had been added.  The date of appearance at the crown court was pronounced with an order that the aforesaid documents be surrendered and a prohibition on any application for further such documents at which point the CPS prosecutor got to her feet to inform the court that the defendant`s passport had already been surrendered to police.  In the league of CPS errors and omissions that failure to offer information was hardly in the Premier League; indeed it was barely in the league of Sunday pub kickabouts but was just another indication that CPS once again had taken  their eye off the ball.

1 comment:

  1. Question: if the court does not order surrender of the passport, or any other travel restrictions, then do the court bail conditions supercede the police bail? If so is the defendant entitled to his passport back?