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.
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 If any comment seems submitted just to advertise a website it will not be published.
Thursday, 13 August 2015
NAMING AND SHAMING
The current case making the news without there being public knowledge of the name of the teenager convicted of stabbing his teacher in Bradford has caused a certain disquiet amongst newspaper editors and others. The likelihood of his serving only three years custody from a headline sentence of eleven years has added to the controversy. Whilst that sentence (and others in similar circumstances where youth are involved) can IMHO be argued on the basis of the as yet still undeveloped juvenile brain where the biological connections which socialise us as a species are still some years from completion the prohibition on naming and shaming by the judge cannot be justified. I will not fully rehearse the arguments here; they are, I am sure, well known to readers.The judicial decision seems to imply that naming and shaming at least in this case is no longer applicable or desirable. I for one disagree. I would go so far to suggest that the lack of such sanctions in general has led us into a situation where anything goes and shame means absolutely nothing especially to those in public office. The investigations into Police and Crime Commissioners is an indication of the almost Banana Republic attitude of publicly elected or appointed officials. Indeed a couple of years ago at this blog`s previous site I gave vent to similar feelings. When ASBOs were introduced it was thought that the shame of the public disapproval bestowed would assist in attempts at rehabilitation. By all accounts that desire was misconceived. Approbation a plenty was often the result from the reprobates` peers. The College of Policing has recently published an interesting report on Chief Police Officer misconduct. It does not mention by name any officer whose frailties or misconduct are already in the public domain and whose histories are likely to have been utilised in the study. Depending on how one reads that omission naming and shaming might still be operating even if beneath the surface but then again.....................