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, 11 June 2015


I make no apology for returning to criticism of the Magistrates Association.  The Criminal Courts Charge is nothing short of a legal abomination.  It was introduced as part of a philosophy forced  upon  the previous government in its search for financial cuts which left inter alia the NHS "free at the point of service" and overseas aid to remain at 0.7% of GNP.  It introduced the principle already forced upon civil courts of trying to make justice pay for itself overturning a long cherished tradition that alongside defence it is a pillar of a democracy which must only be funded by the state.  The chairman of the M.A. in a letter for members *copied below,  refers obliquely to this charge as to whether it has "negatively effected the administration of the law and justice"  in his quest for members` responses.

Administration (noun)    The process or activity of running a business, organization, etc.

Effect  (verb)    cause (something) to happen; bring about

It would seem therefore that he is asking magistrates to answer a question which is completely "off topic".  The charge  blatantly does not affect administration as above defined; it affects the ability to pay without means testing of those found guilty. Perhaps the question was phrased deliberately in this form to elicit particular forms of reply or perhaps it was phrased thus owing to simple incompetence of the writer.  Either way, apart from the writer`s confusion between affect and effect  it is just another example of obfuscation by the Magistrates Association. 


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