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.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Welcome to Summary Justice

Bystander is a lay magistrate in South-East England.

Unlike almost anywhere else in the world England and Wales have a court system where ordinary citizens who are not lawyers deal with most criminal cases, passing only about five percent, the most serious cases, up to the Crown Court to be dealt with. Even the worst crimes including rape and murder pass before magistrates on their way up to the higher courts, and it is magistrates who decide whether the accused is to be given bail or held in prison to await trial.