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.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


When I sit in court, politics has no place either in the proceedings or in our deliberations. Nevertheless, politicians in Parliament make laws, and so we must all take notice when the Prime Minister speaks.

He said, at Brighton:-

I believe three things work.

First, a radical extension of summary powers to police and local authorities to take on the wrong doers.

We will publish plans to do this by the end of the year. They will tackle specifically binge-drinking, drug-dealing and organised crime; and develop existing laws on ASB.

Second, we need a uniformed presence on the street in every community. Officers on the beat is what the public have wanted for years and they're right. I have seen teams of police and CSOs in action. It works. We want them across the whole of Britain over the next few years.

Third, give our young people places to go so that they're off the street.

Numbers two and three are obviously desirable. Let's have another look at number one:

First, a radical extension of summary powers to police and local authorities to take on the wrong doers.

Now I don't know what that means to you, but to me it seems that "radical extension" and "summary powers" mean giving quasi-judicial power to policemen and to council functionaries to impose criminal sanctions on citizens.

Of course voices such as mine will be dismissed as being a last attempt of the bien-pensant middle classes to defend their right to impose themselves on the lower orders without 'accountability'.

I never criticise politicians for who they are, only for what they do.

Where, in the 2005 manifesto, did it say that the enforcement of justice would be taken away from courts and given to public servants?