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 ten years whilst I was active I retain it now only as a literary device no longer actually using the term JP for any other purpose whatsoever.

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 If any comment seems submitted just to advertise a website it will not be published.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015


To be a Justice of the Peace is or was to be a representative of the public, of the common man, so that alleged offenders can be judged by their peers.  Indeed when I was appointed having “common sense” was a requisite.  That was dropped a decade or more ago.  With the many changes to the manner of domestic legislation since 1945 and the establishment of the European Convention of Human Rights in 1950 as a direct result of the atrocities committed during World War 2 and the introduction of the Human Rights Act 1998 some matters where common sense might have prevailed have been overtaken by the minutiae of legal jargon being argued by very eloquent lawyers and  interpreted  by judges sometimes too fearful of straying beyond self erected boundaries.  I would posit that this case is a perfect example of how judicial decision making does indeed stray beyond the wit of the common man using his common sense. Of course there are those who would argue that such decisions require more than just common sense; that only those highly skilled in the subject are fit to adjudicate and nobody would argue that a high intellect is not a necessity for such activity but would eg a Nobel Prize winner in Astrophysics or a chess Grandmaster be any less able to reach a just conclusion?   Such decisions as that for this self afflicted Libyan alcoholic are perfect ammunition to those who would offer extreme right wing views to many of the problems currently before us.  Some such problems might indeed profit from such views but when a total political philosophy is grounded upon an imagined contempt that the “Establishment” has for the majority of the population there lies trouble ahead.

No doubt certain aspiring UKIP candidates in next week`s election will quote this case.  It will be hard not to agree with them.

1 comment:

  1. Common sense might suggest that having lived here almost the entire time he was "of drinking age" and presumably paying alcohol excise duty to the UK exchequer that his alcoholism was OUR problem!