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, August 12, 2011


It's easy to discern the contempt that some of the illiberal elite have for the people, as recriminations and why-oh-why journalism flourish in the aftermath of the riots. The Mail (inevitably) reports gleefully that some grandstanding council leaders are threatening to evict whole families from council accommodation if one member is convicted in connection with the riots. This is nonsense, and what makes it worse is that those making the threats know that it is nonsense. For one thing it smacks of collective punishment, for another thing it breaches the right to family life in the HRA, and for another thing the council has a statutory duty to house homeless people. Such an eviction would never get past the courts, but the bullies making the threats assume that the public is too stupid to know that and will be impressed at the council's toughness.

Met Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stephen Kavanagh is reported as saying that some of his officers are disappointed that the courts have been dealing with young rioters by making a referral order when the law leaves the courts no alternative and he knows it. DAC Kavanagh is paid a lot of money to be a leader, so why isn't he telling his 'disappointed' troops what the law says, rather than patronising them and the public by suggesting that the courts have somehow failed in their duty?

There will be lots more of this kind of stuff as people try to make themselves out to be the people's tribunes, and most of what will be said will be utterly bogus.