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, December 04, 2008


The media frenzy over the Matthews 'abduction' case has unfortunately pushed the very important ECHR decision on the DNA database on to page 2.
What seems important to me is not the usefulness of DNA evidence (for which I should be grateful if it served to catch someone who had wronged me or mine) but rather the Government's deceitful and furtive approach to gathering information. There is an arguable case, although I disagree with it, for a DNA database of the whole population. There is a more or less accepted case for a database of convicted offenders. So if the Government believes in option one, let them have the guts to put it in the manifesto, so it can be properly debated, and then legislate. What is now happening is the weaselly half-measure of taking and keeping DNA from all those arrested, even if they are swiftly released or subsequently cleared. That's unfair and arbitrary, and I am cheered to see the ECHR giving the government a well-deserved poke in the eye.