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, November 26, 2006

A Welcome Breath of Sanity

I have said before that I probably read too much of the Press. I am routinely infuriated by wilful misrepresentation of criminal justice issues in the less scrupulous papers. This misrepresentation has helped to feed public prejudice to such an extent that a great majority of the population holds beliefs about the operation of the courts that are simply untrue.
Sir Igor Judge is a very senior member of the judiciary and he is in the habit of making thoughtful speeches which, being carefully reasoned and calmly argued, are of no appeal to the popular prints. This speech delivered last week is well worth the time taken to read it. This lecture delivered about a year ago goes into considerable detail about crime figures and public perception.
Give them a try if you have the time. Both are serious and densely argued speeches by someone who knows what he is talking about. It is a shame that there is no way that the wisdom in them can be distilled to allow their message to be heard by the man in the street or in the saloon bar.
Some of the regulars on this blog's comments, including a handful of serving police officers, have acquired a distorted view both of the judiciary's function, and of how it is carried out. I hope that a few of you have the time and the inclination to read the Judge's thoughts.