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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Saturday, 13 June 2015


The camel`s legal back is near to breaking point.  Barristers have made their point by witholding their labour. Criminal solicitors are deciding whether they too need to take action.  All those involved in the daily comings and goings in the magistrates` courts are only too aware of the increasing numbers of unrepresented defendants such people necessitating increasing amounts of court time so that it is certain that justice is being served.  It is true to say that there is a strong possibility that innocent people in court on low level charges are pleading guilty "to get it over with".  The government has no idea of how many defendants are being subject to erroneous results whether for the aforementioned reason or their receiving inadequate assistance to present their cases.  

Of all people Justices of the Peace are the ideal group within the whole legal jungle able to make the point that we are in danger of going beyond the point of no return in our ability as a nation to guarantee justice for all; from the high born to the peasant.  J.P.s are unpaid volunteers usually idealistic in their view of the concept of justice.  Apart from the few who seek appointment purely for their idea of the kudos the appointment might give them in their business life J.P.s  are honourable folk seeking to be of use in the fair treatment of their fellow citizens.  If even a single bench at an extraordinary or  annual meeting proposed for debate "This bench is in favour of non attendance of its members on a designated date within the next three months to express its belief that our ancient concept of equal justice for all is being eroded by government policy" it would make world wide news.  But more importantly it would indicate to the senior judiciary that its junior ranks cannot be intimidated.  It is my opinion that there is no long term future for the magistracy in its current form, i.e. presiding over a courtroom on equal terms with the professional judiciary so there is little to lose. However I live in the real world and my bottom dollar knows there is more chance of hell freezing over. 

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