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.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A Nice Line From The Lord Chief

The Lord Chief Justice spoke last night at a top-level dinner. This bit of his speech caught my eye:-
The demands of my current position did mean that I had to catch up with developments in criminal law over the past eight years, and that proved quite a task.

I enrolled on the Judicial Studies Board Criminal Law Continuation Course - for me it was very much an induction course.......

I was astonished and concerned at the complexity of the sentencing exercise that a judge is required to perform. There has been a deluge of legislation over recent years affecting sentencing.

This, together with the guidance of the Sentencing Guidelines Council, restricts the scope of the discretion that a judge previously enjoyed when deciding on the appropriate sentence.

It takes a lot of study to master the intricacies of sentencing today, which can result in criticisms of sentences by those who have not conducted such study being wide of the mark.

I have asked Lord Justice Keene, who chairs the Judicial Studies Board, whether he can lay on a sentencing induction course for Home Secretaries. He is considering this, but has warned me that the frequency of such courses would have resource implications.

Nicely put, Your Lordship.