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.

My Photo
Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pass The Port Seamus

Magistrates are well used to countersigning documents and witnessing signatures; it's part of the job, and a lot of people don't realise that a JP will often do for free (outside the courthouse, naturally) something that a professional will charge for. I was asked to assist with a couple of applications for children's passports at the weekend - so far, so normal, but these were Irish passports, the father being a Cork man. The forms were a nightmare, asking for the same information to be re-entered time and again, and the accompanying instructions had the feel of having been translated from Gaelic into Serbo-Croat, then back into English by a Mongolian. The whole job took ages, and at the last we read that official stamps were required from the countersignatory, so I shall have to take the forms to court with me on my next sitting and get someone to stamp them. I remember from my youthful reading of the Colditz books as well as the other POW yarns that officialdom in most countries bows down before a really impressive rubber stamp. Sadly my court's stamps are desperately unimpressive - no royal ciphers, no fancy bits. It's a bit of a let down really.