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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Friday, 25 August 2017


It didn`t happen more than a couple of times when I was active in the middle chair but in the last resort loud mouthed defendants screaming obscenities must face jail time if they persist in their abuse despite being warned of the consequences.  I also believe that many of my colleagues were hesitant to use such powers in the face of court being disrupted by individuals whose mouths were uncontrollable. Others would surreptitiously glance at the legal advisor for assurance or guidance; a sign of increasing lack of confidence IMHO within today`s magistracy encouraged by Deputy Justices Clerks forever mindful of being stamped upon from above. The words and actions of HH Judge Simon James at Canterbury Crown Court earlier this week serve as a perfect example of how such offenders must be handled to preserve the dignity of court procedure.

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