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, June 23, 2011


I was quietly taken aside today by an experienced legal adviser with whom I have worked for many years, to hear her frustration at the fact that a bench (of only two members, neither of whom sits that often) had spent almost an hour and a half trying to sentence an assault case using the new multi-step guidelines, while other cases languished in the queue and lawyers and staff cooled their heels.

Our bench has received no formal training at all in these guidelines, other than being given access to a podcast. There's no money, you see.

These new guidelines are, I am told (I have had no training) a completely new approach to sentencing. I will give the podcast a go when I get time, but until then I shall have to busk it in court. Let's hope that nobody notices.