The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

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Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Monday, October 31, 2011

How's It Going Down Your Way?

There are just two months to go before the newly amalgamated benches across the country open for business. London will drop from thirty-odd benches to nine, Buckinghamshire county will be a single bench, and so on. Some of the new benches will be as big as any in the country, with well over 400 magistrates.
The Senior Presiding Judge has decreed that all JPs are expected to sit at any courthouse in their Local Justice Area, but things appear to be working out differently in different parts of the country. Some courts are in very large areas indeed, and return journeys of 100 miles are not unknown. London doesn't have those kind of distances, but 10 miles at 5 pm on a Friday can take a very long time indeed.
Just to put a cherry on the cake some clown in the MoJ has proposed a cap of 1000 claimable miles in a year - for me that would mean I would be paying my own travel costs from about March onwards.
I would be very interested to hear how things are panning out around the country, as those of us involved in negotiations need all the information we can get.