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.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

New Guidelines

I have changed the Bench Book entry on the sidebar to link to the new 2008 Guidelines. Training is well under way now, and when I do mine shortly, I have been asked to take along my personal copy for reference. Which would be fine if only I had been sent one.

I fear that we are soon going to find out the hard way that all of the people who have recently been redeployed, retired, or just given the push from the Courts' Service did in fact have important jobs to do in the past, jobs that will now be done badly or not at all.

We ran out of paper towels in the loos the other day - the man who used to order them has gone, and some pen pusher miles away has to do the job. So I wiped my hands on my hanky. We are expecting towels next week, a fortnight after they ran out. An interpreter called in to cancel, and nobody booked another one - result, half a day wasted for three magistrates, three lawyers, one usher, two Witness Support volunteers, five witnesses (three civilians two police) and one defendant and his anxious family. Oh yes, and the air con has stopped working and the only man who knows how to make it work is counting the pennies in his early severance package.

It even makes the biscuit famine look trivial.