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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Monday, 15 June 2015

MAGISTRATES ASSOCIATION IS NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE

It seems that the Magistrates Association once again is following a path that would probably have had its own members scratching their heads in wonderment had there been so much as a nod as to what was happening on their behalf.  If there is one topic that almost certainly has more agreement amongst J.P.s than any other it is that of the reducing catagories of those defendants at Magistrates` Courts  and participants at others entitled to legal aid.  Indeed that facility is likely to be further reduced by this government`s stated intention to restrict funding for  criminal solicitors who provide most of the service and therefore reduce further how many undertake the work.  So logically it would seem that when the M.A. wished to appoint a Co-Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Magistracy, alongside MA member and Labour peer Lord Ponsonby of Shulbrede it would seek from the newly elected members of the House of Commons a member who would sympathise with this core tenet at least. However in its wisdom it has appointed Lincoln M.P. Karl McCartney J.P.  It would seem that he is one J.P. who  excludes himself from the majority opinion of his colleagues as mentioned above. His voting record shows where his sympathies lie.  My question today is why such a person so out of tune with the the policy of the M.A. such as it is has been asked to fill such a role.  As a matter of futher interest on the M.A.s obfuscation of a website I used its search facility to find "legal aid"; not a single source was found.  This organisation is unfit for pupose and should die its death and be reborn as one fit for its members.

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