Monday, December 13, 2010

Primus Inter Pares

Sitting in the remand court last week, I was flanked by two colleagues. At the lunch break it turned out that one court had run out of business, and that one of my colleagues really wanted to attend her daughter's school carol service. Matters were sorted out, and the carol service lady was able to leave while one of the people from the superfluous court came in to take her place. So far, so normal.
My replacement winger happened to be a very senior magistrate, only a year or so less experienced than me. The other magistrate, who has fewer than eighteen months in the job said "I think that I shall just keep quiet; you two are so experienced".
"No!" we replied in unison. "Your views are just as valid as ours, and your fresh viewpoint is important to keep us on the straight and narrow".

It is quite rightly one-man-one-vote on the bench. You have the same powers on the day before you retire as you had on the day you were sworn in.

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