Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ho Hum

I am sitting in the retiring room, wating for the staff to sort out something for us to do. Since starting at 10 O'Clock, we have heard one videolink application for bail, drunk several cups of coffee (once my colleague had made the machine work) few and set the world to rights. Nothing unusual, but it is not a good use of time.


  1. Will the day arrive when zero hour magistrates appear? This sort of contract is becoming more commonplace. Even some airline pilots have them.

  2. I think you'll find that that's precisely what we are. Except of course that even when we are required, there is no payment. And we can be cancelled at literally a few minutes notice.

  3. Replies
    1. Dear god, the comments on that article are depressing.

    2. To quote one comment:

      'Cheap, untrained and making decisions based on the prejudices they were raised with with little to no understanding of the principles of law. Yes very noble indeed.'

      Obviously not a Mag blog reader, more Daily Mail.

    3. Well, let's just hope that those who flash their ignorance so generously never finish up doing jury service.

  4. As we don't know then you posted this, then it is hard to agree or comment on. You might have posted this at 10:10, then doing one videolink and having a drink of coffee, was a good use of time....

  5. I read Anna Karenina during waiting time at court. That is not a joke: I kept a small edition with my bench book and made good use of my time!

  6. Posted from my iPad at 11:25.
    I happened to be in one of the few courthouses with working WiFi for mere JPs.

  7. Yesterday we had two trials listed; one with vulnerable witnesses (13 years old); one with 6 live winesses (what had happened at the Case Management Hearing to allow 6 witnesses for what appeared to be a fairly simple assault I don't know). Both cracked - the first pleaded guilty but was due to appear on many other matters the next day, so we adjourned the sentencing until then, brought the witnesses in, thanked them and had a short question and answer session about the legal system. The second pleaded gulity on basis. We decided we didn't need a Newton hearing, heard it, sentenced and again had the witnesses in to explain what had happened and thank them for coming. This took to 11.30. One of my colleagues went home, we remained as we'd ordered lunch. Lucky, because as we were eating an excellent lunch provided by our lovely lady in the coffee shop, an application for the seizure of cash came in. Hoever, we were sitting doing nothing until 1.45. We read the paper and I had my Kindle with me. The hearing took 10 minutes and we were on our way by 2. We are still wondering if the afternoon constituted a sitting.

    1. If you sat at all in the pm, that counts as a sitting. The old one-hour rule was changed some years ago:

      Attendances must be calculated in half-days:

      where a magistrate is rostered to sit for the whole day, they will be credited with two sittings however long the court sits in the afternoon

      Thus spake the Lord Chancellor in his Directions on Justices of the Peace


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