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, 2 June 2016
OPEN SELECTION PUBLISHED BUT NOT FOR J.P.s
On opening the statistical tables one is presented not only with the ethnic backgrounds of the year`s appointees but also their gender and age. Not much surprise there then? The surprise is that that information is published also of the applicants` eligible pool, numbers of applications and those short listed. But what is not published is the same subdivisions of those appointed as Justices of the Peace. Gender, age and ethnicity of magistrates per se has been freely available for many years and although the numbers re J.P.s are much higher than for the paid judiciary I would question this omission. Government officials and senior judicial figures often correctly use the term "judiciary" in reference to us, their colleagues on the lowest rung of that profession. J.P.s are subject to the same levels of professional and personal conduct as their full time civil service employed colleagues. And despite the realities, government when it suits its arguments, still refers to magistrates` local representative nature in their communities. Why then has there not been full disclosure of magisterial applicants` details etc in line with the rest? Is this not just another indication that local justice for local people is no longer relevant with a third of courts closed and with non local District Judges presiding over ever increasing numbers of courtrooms?