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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Tuesday, 8 December 2015
CAN WE TRUST JUDGES?
It would seem to me that Judge David Ticehurst was putting his own preferences ahead of the public interest. In this matter of burglary the non imposition of even custody suspended was a travesty. His closing remarks reported as, "I'm giving you a chance. Turn your life round. Get back on track. Don't get back to your old ways. You're not a very good burglar anyway because you get caught." seem to belong to another age. The good judge`s apparent benevolence that day took his idiosyncrasy a little bit further along a path of irrationality that veered to the downright inappropriate when he advised an offender how to avoid the criminal courts charge.
Now the whole legal profession particularly judges at all levels are expressing their satisfaction that the criminal courts charge is being discontinued. Where were they all early this year when magistrates individually, on line and organisationally were expressing their views that the charge was in principle unsupportable and a carbuncle on the face of justice? They were as silent as the grave at least in public. Shame on all of them especially when there are apparently cogent arguments re the substitution of a British bill of human rights for its European equivalent. How much faith can be placed in their hands to be an adequate replacement? Trust is built like a house......with a foundation upon which brick by brick and piece by piece it is strong enough to withstand the many forces nature sends against it. In short; can the ordinary citizen with eg threats to the Freedom of Information Act and the Leveson recommendations trust judges to protect us from the state`s iniquities?