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, 21 June 2016


A year or so before the authorities in their infinite wisdom considered that I was too senile to continue serving as a magistrate..........I know.........unless old codgers are ejected where is the room for all those enthusiastic would be J.P.s to do their bit for queen and country........but to order for a criminal behaviour order for a just convicted offender was placed before us by the CPS on behalf of the police. A police officer who was called as witness described himself as probably the country`s expert on the application of what was then a brand new disposal.  CPS then told us that it was highly probable that this being new legislation was the first time such an application had been made in any court.  We all listened intently to the witness whilst our legal advisor leafed through the various law books and information sheets on her desk.  After the witness`s testimony we were handed some of the information sheets.  And then we came across the paragraph which said quite unambiguously that, to quote the current  guideline (although the original information might have been worded slightly differently) " the order must specify the individual or organisation that is responsible for supervising compliance with the requirement (ABCPA 2014, s24(1)) and must hear from them about both the suitability and enforceability of a requirement, before including it in the CBO (ABCPA 2014, s24(2))".  We put this to the police officer.  He was stumped for an answer and admitted that he could not supply the information regarding compliance. CPS was unable to assist the court.  Thus although we were the first  bench in England to hear an application for a CBO we were not the first bench to make a criminal behaviour order. 

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