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, 1 June 2017


Today the MOJ published the latest statistics on the county courts. All the usual stuff was there except............................
By chance I attended a county court yesterday for the first time in decades in pursuit of compensation from a national company.  I won my case but unfortunately did not receive all that I had claimed.  What I do claim correctly, however, is that my hearing began a full one and half hours after indicated time specified.  I believe I would have had to wait longer if I had not constantly complained to the clerk supervising the allocation process.  My point today is that nowhere in that volume of statistics is there any reference to such details which are as important an indicator of efficiency as those included. To the MOJ and HMCTS it seems participants` (plaintiffs and defendants) waiting times in court are just collateral damage. The in house barrister opposing me had turned up half an hour early as I had done; indeed as about thirty others in the waiting area had done.  Her wasted time had to have cost her company hundreds of pounds.  As a retiree my wasted time in money value was limited but the others waiting were mostly all of working age. 

I know in detail the who what and why of wasted time in the magistrates` courts where several services have each to be able to offer their input at a fixed time but at county court there is for each case usually one plaintiff, sometimes represented and a defendant sometimes represented with perhaps a witness. Of course there can be unforeseen reasons for a delay but there is  just no apparent honourable excuse for participants` delays  to be written out of the statistics. The public can just be kept waiting irrespective of courts` increasing costs for litigants.  Same old HMCTS; arse covered until made to reveal all.

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