Friday, February 04, 2011

And Another Thing........

Two more things have emerged from discussions surrounding changes to the courts:- firstly there is, certainly in my area, a halt to the recruitment of new magistrates for at least eighteen months. That makes sense, giving the new arrangements time to bed down, but will be a disappointment to some people who had planned to apply in the near future. The Advisory Committees are also being shaken up, and I hope that the new system will be more receptive than their predecessors to the opinions of the benches they are recruiting for. At my own court the Bench Chairman repeatedly asked for more JPs over several years, and two, three, or four were appointed at a time; then, over not much more than a year we were allocated twenty new colleagues, throwing a strain on the mentoring and appraisal process. Quite rightly the selection process only requires that the recruit can offer 26 half-days a year. This helps to accommodate those with work commitments, but means that it can take three new low-sitters to replace an old codger such as myself when I finally retire.
Secondly, the reorganisation means that the District Judges will have to be reallocated - a potentially touchy subject.

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