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, April 22, 2011

This Is No Farce - But It Is A Problem

This report in the Daily Mail is misleadingly headlined as a farce, following that paper's agenda of sneering at the justice system whenever possible. There is a serious difficulty when jurors (or magistrates for that matter) do their own research on the Internet rather that relying on what they have heard in evidence, but for a juror to contact someone involved in the trial raises matters one more notch.
According to the Mail report, there were also cock-ups with police preparation of the files - I am personally familiar with cases coming to a grinding halt when interview transcripts (ROTI's) have been clumsily or carelessly redacted to exclude inadmissible material.
The senior wigs are working on a policy to avoid the Internet problem, but it won't be easy to devise something that is practical and enforceable.