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.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Level Playing Field

For some time there has been a bit of resentment among magistrates at the fact that while we were required to report all convictions, including minor motoring ones, to our Clerk, professional judges operated under a more relaxed regime. That has all changed now, and JPs are subject to the same rules as judges. This is the official line:-
It was agreed.....that the position of magistrates and other judicial office holders be brought into line. The Judges Council subsequently proposed that the requirements for magistrates be relaxed to bring them into line with other judicial office holders......
The reporting requirements are now as follows:
Road Traffic offences need only be reported if on conviction:
Any period of disqualification from holding or obtaining a driving licence is imposed, or,
Six penalty points are ordered to be endorsed on the licence, or,
If a lesser number of points are ordered to be endorsed, the total points then endorsed on the licence exceeds six.
Speed awareness courses, penalty charge notices for parking etc and fixed penalty notices for matters such as littering need not be reported.
Penalty notices for disorder must be reported, given the public order element, as must cannabis warnings, given the involvement of drugs.
Anti Social Behaviour Orders must be reported, including those imposed in civil proceedings.
All forms of formal recorded caution (i.e. those given by the police on an admission of guilt of the offence being cautioned) must be reported.
Judicial office holders should judge out of court disposals and any new penalty alongside this framework in determining whether or not any other matter needs to be reported.