Posts Tagged ‘ Judiciary ’


Crouching Tiger, Sauntering Dragon

Written by admin
December 19th, 2018

Inevitable comparisons have to be drawn between the recent departures from high office of the Sports Minister, Tracy Crouch and the former DPP, Alison Saunders.

Alison Saunders maintained both publicly and in meetings with members of the Bar, the judiciary and solicitors that the prosecution service benefited from adequate funding throughout her time as DPP. She talked about structural reform and organisational re-organisation, but never challenged her Alistrol masters and mistresses. Only after her final salary cheque was in the bank and her pension was safe for all time, did she dare to say what everyone else had been saying for the last five years.

Tracey Crouch however gave up a well-paid government job and returned to the back benches as soon as it became apparent that fixed odds betting terminals were to remain the scourge of high street betting shops until October 1919.

The comments of both will of course have brought to the attention of the public and the government the issues surrounding both Crown Prosecution Service funding and revenue to be derived from gambling machines. Nevertheless, the personal integratory and long and short term respect for Tracey Crouch must be at an insurmountable high, while Alison Saunders is left wondering whether those who have argued for her to receive no honours list award will have their way.

For those of us in the professions, for victims of crime, for court users, for witnesses and for the sake of the whole judicial process, we can only hope that Max Hill is not as tongue-tied as his predecessor and if necessary will press the Tracey Crouch nuclear button.

Who needs reasonableness!

Written by admin
November 22nd, 2018

We all know that knife crime is on the rise. Not to the levels of Victorian times, not to the levels of 1993, when criminal offences across the board were at their highest. In fact, knife crime is rising towards the levels experienced in 2010 and 2011.

It is obvious that the government wants to “do something”. Legislation imposing vaguely mandatory sentences on those convicted of carrying bladed articles or offensive weapons for a second time has been a future of the sentencing process for many years.

Not satisfied with this removal of discretion from the judiciary, the government now wishes to attack a different part of the criminal justice process.

Certainly, out of nowhere, there are calls for a re-evaluation of the old “stop and search” powers. This much malign and often inflammatory procedure has, in recent years, been kept in check by the requirement for police officers to have a “reasonable suspicion” before stopping or searching an individual. A number of members of the government are now suggesting that the requirement for a “reasonable suspicion” be removed.

Any action that can be carried out unreasonably, or without the use of reason, is obviously likely to lead to concerns and difficulties. Imagine that someone allegedly acting in “self-defence” did not have to show that they had acted “reasonably” just that they had acted in self-defence. What sort of mayhem might ensue?

Where the power to be used “unreasonably” is a coercive power, as in the case of stop and search, the perils for us all are enormous. Those of us who remember the Bristol riots around the Black and White Café, the Brixton riots of the early 1980’s and the Toxteth riot of similar vintage remember just how much violence and disorder ensued from the hatred and loathing that had built up after the misuse of “stop and search” powers.

If widespread civil disorder and a break down in the relationship between the police and the public are the price to be paid for this cack-handed attack on knife crime, it may be felt that the account would soon become unbalanced.

JUDGES HIDE THE TRUTH

Written by admin
October 7th, 2018

In Britain we pride ourselves on the honesty, decency and upstanding character of our judiciary. We like to think that the vast bulk of our judiciary are immune from the bribery and corruption that penetrate the judicial system that many Countries in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres.

It is perhaps then ironic that the Ministry of Justice imposes a “don’t tell at all costs “ rule on new Judges to be.

Successful candidates for the post of Circuit Judge, Recorded, District Judge, Deputy District Judge etc are all warned that they should not disclose that there are soon to be announced as the beholder of particular position, for fear that that position will be withdrawn from them if news gets out ahead of time.

This, inevitably leads to all sorts of dissembling, double speak and sometimes outright lying. Indeed, at no other point in the career of a full or part time member of the judiciary are likely to have to go such lengths to hide the simply plain truth of their situation.

It seems that the only way of bringing this entirely unsatisfactory state of affairs to an end it so considerably shorten the period of time between advising a candidate of their success and the publication of their triumph to the wider world.

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