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, March 07, 2007

Clumsy and Thoughtless

Vic B-W, a regular commenter, has sent me this link to the story of a very senior magistrate who has made a bit of a fool of himself. Some of us think he was lucky not to be out on his ear, but in all the circumstances, with his length of service and the fact that he must soon retire (when he is 70) a lenient view was taken.
Every judge and magistrate is allowed his own opinions of course, but the cardinal rule is not to say anything in public that could give the appearance of bias. It may have been all right to refer to ethnic minorities as foreigners when my colleague was sworn in, but these days we realise that we have to be more sensitive as well as more accurate, since many of the people he was referring to hold British passports.
Some will inevitably cry 'Political Correctness' - an intellectually lazy and near-meaningless gibe. To me it's just good manners.