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, September 26, 2007


I had lunch today with a man who was a school contemporary of my son, and who remains a good friend of us both. As some people do, he more or less threw away his early twenties in a series of dull jobs, and then he discovered the extra gear in his gearbox, changed up and put his foot down. He is now well into a law degree at a highly respected university, and I realised, a short way into our conversation, that he has developed a powerful and questioning intellect from which old chaps like me can learn a lot.
He will do well in time, and it dawned on me that in an era of increased life expectancy and longer careers it is no great handicap to qualify as a lawyer at 35, because you may still be working at 70, unlike those who qualified ten years younger.
I was educated in the Fifties and Sixties, and those who failed to make the grade at 11-plus, or O-level, or A-level were expected to bow to their fate and disappear into the maw of commerce or the public service. Nowadays a young man or woman who may just have grown up a little more slowly than their peers can, if they have the grit, start again and succeed. I truly wish them well.