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 If any comment seems submitted just to advertise a website it will not be published.

Monday, 5 June 2017


For quite some time, as J.P.s and criminal lawyers well know, in cases of domestic abuse, still awaiting classification as a dedicated offence, defendants are prevented from directly cross examining a complainant. In such matters a legally aided lawyer, if there is no representation, under s.38 will be tasked with that function.   With that in mind it seems odd that a High Court judge has declared his reaction insofar as he appears to be declaring his interpretation of the law in his own design.

Perhaps this can be explained by somebody with more knowledge than I.


  1. The provisions for a legal aid lawyer to undertake the cross-examination only apply in the criminal courts, not in civil or family courts. If the alleged abuser is not eligible for legal aid (and he usually isn't) he has to conduct the cross-examination himself.

  2. From mention of Caffcass it would seem that this is a civil case and the cross examination prohibitions appply in criminal cases only . I stand to be corrected but there was some intention to extend this prohibition to the cicvil courts as well but it would seem not done as yet?