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, December 19, 2007

Talking of Fishing

It's difficult to disapprove of the fishing licence system, since the cash raised goes directly into maintaining fishing waters, and the licence costs less than 50p per week. When we see cases of unlicensed fishing we impose fines and costs that rub in the message that it's cheaper to get a licence.
I was surprised to learn recently that we now have the power to ban someone from holding or applying for a rod licence for up to five years. I simply had to ask the lawyers the penalty for Fishing While Disqualified, but none of them knew, and we had too much work on to take time to look it up.
I know that defiance of a court order is a terribly serious business, and that we should visit the wrath of the law on perpetrators, but I don't think that I could keep a straight face while dealing with one of these. Do we give him an endorsement? Make him take a new test? Is there a test?
While the Police and CPS continue to usurp the judicial functions of the courts in ever more serious cases, with conditional cautions and penalty notices, why is my list cluttered up with this kind of stuff that cries out to be dealt with by fixed penalty?