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.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sneaking Suspicion

The continuing furore over prisons has led me to suspect, just ever-so-slightly, that one or two of Her Majesty's judges have been playing the game a bit. If you want to excite the tabloids, take a paedophile's sentence down a notch (or just say that's what you are doing) and Fleet Street's finest will rage with kneejerk condemnation - but not of you. The target will be elsewhere.

The judiciary at all levels has suffered almost a decade of criticism, veiled and not-so-veiled threats, and attempts to fetter its discretion. Unsurprisingly quite a few people have had enough and we may well see more carefully worded judgements that have a subtext of making the Home Secretary and his minions look stupid.

The contempt that has been shown to the judiciary means that politicians have taken on a powerful and articulate body who are a great deal harder to sack than any minister. Where I grew up, that's called leading with your chin.