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.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Piston Broke

A man was brought before us having been found staggering and occasionally falling over along a busy dual carriageway one night. He was arrested for his own safety and put in a cell to sober up.
I cast a weary glance over the court list and I saw that he had been charged under the Licensing Act 1872. I looked it up when I got home on the ever useful lawindexpro site and found this:-

12. Every person found drunk in any highway or other public place, whether a building or not, or on any licensed premises, shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding level 1 on the standard scale.

I could not help reflecting on the fact that our Government has spent more than a decade and a lot of money in a legislative frenzy trying to clamp down on the unruly populace, when perfectly serviceable Victorian statutes like this are are still available.

(later) Here's a similar point I made a 18 months ago:-
I have complained time and again over the Government's habit of passing new (and usually useless) laws every time that something alarms the tabloids. Now we have a serious, albeit bungled, attempt to blow up a lot of people and what do we read? The first man to be charged has been charged under the 1883 Explosive Substances Act. I rest my case.