Musings and Snippets from a recently retired JP. I served for 31 years, mostly in west London. I was Chairman of my Bench for some years, and a member of the National Bench Chairmen's Forum All cases are based on real ones, but anonymised and composited. All opinions are those of one or more individuals. JPs swear to enforce the law of the land, whether or not they approve of it. Nothing on here constitutes legal advice.
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Realism From Chancery Lane
The latest Law Society Gazette features two pieces on important issues facing the courts as a result of hasty and ill-thought-out legislation.
The first reports second thoughts on the proposed extensions to court hours, which are based on a fundamental misunderstanding of just what happened during and after the 2011 riots, and the second is a justifiably scathing attack on the political grandstanding involved in the free hand that is supposed to be granted to householders who come across burglars in their home.
It is deeply depressing to see the Coalition' s minister descending to the desperate and craven measures that so appealed to Jack Straw in his efforts to pander to the Murdoch press.
Here is more
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
Bystander wrote this seven years ago.....ReplyDelete
The real problem is that what real people consider reasonable is a long, long way from what the legal profession considers reasonable.ReplyDelete
But then again you lot consider suspended sentences as punishment...
No we don't. When magistrates give a suspended sentence it goes with a separate punishment element, such as a tagged curfew. You would be amazed how many people, especially the younger ones, hate having to be at home rather than out with their mates. Around Christmas and New Year they go down particularly badly. If they break the curfew or commit any other offence whilst on a suspended they know that the chances are they will go inside. If they do it's really self inflicted prison.Delete
I feel sure that whoever wrote this piece would have a completely different view of matters if faced with the situation in their own home. From what I read it seems to take forever for the judiciary to lock up burglars. At least if they are locked up they are not committing crime.ReplyDelete
That's why we have an impartial and independent hudiciary, rather than mob rule. What you say about burglars is quite untrue-there is even a three strikes rule for domestic burglars. Change your newspaper.Delete
A three strikes rule? Three strikes and what? A suspended sentence?Delete
Why do we hear so often (from a variety of sources) that Darren Scumbag has 20 convictions for domestic burglary and has never been behind bars?
Bystander Team.. First it was "The Murdoch Press" then by implication the Dail Mail... (which I am not a subscriber to)Delete
I sense you would be much happier if we all read the Guardian.......
Three strikes = 3years minimum. Look it up.Delete
No, I do not consider a suspended sentence a punishment(albeit there have to be requirements during the period of suspension). Look to the Crown Courts and see the sort of cases where CC judges feel that a custodial sentence can be suspended.ReplyDelete
It is rather disappointing - but not wholly unexpected - that the Tories feel the need to play to the Daily Mail-reading galleries with nonsense like this, cynically in order to garner support from the uneducated right.ReplyDelete
Homeowners do not - and should not be given - carte blanche to 'deal with' intruders, that is what the Police Service is for. More importantly, justice is to be meted out by the courts, not by rabid homeowners whose ill-founded sense of grievance makes them think they can take the law in to their own hands.
My nearest police station is 12 miles away,assuming they have an officer available to send.I do not take the latest pronouncement as "carte blanche" but an assurance that if I manage to defend myself vigorously and the the intruder comes off second best it is not me being arrested for it.ReplyDelete
Why would you feel the need to defend yourself "vigorously"?Delete
The are already provisions in current law that allow homeowners to defend themselves using 'reasonable force' - if you feel the need to confront an intruder then you may use sufficient force such that you come to no harm (ie the intruder departs). However it is worth bearing in mind that in such a situation a homeowner has put his or herself at risk of harm by challenging the intruder(s). This does not include seeking to injure an intruder in a form of 'instant justice'.
I really, really do hope you get burgled by some violent criminals, just so you can finally realise what claptrap you are speaking.Delete
I actually think that Mr HW is genuinely impervious to facts. Let us hope the aforementioned burglars use knives rather than facts.Delete
(1) Evening and weekend courts. Fine if it speeds thing up, and so long as legal advisors, security staff, dock officers, prison van services are available in sufficient numbers, and paid contractual rates of overtime.ReplyDelete
(2) 'Grossly disproportionate': won't this have to be decided by the courts in the light of the evidence? If so, what's the matter with existing law on self-defence?
The problem is that from time to time, the CPS make quite perverse decisions to prosecute, more or less for political purposes. If the law is even clearer about how much force is 100% legal for householders to use, it should discourage the CPS and further reduce these perverse prosecutions. That is a good thing.Delete
@ Team-Bystander (above) - "...second thoughts on the proposed extensions to court hours..."ReplyDelete
NOW - third thoughts - according to BBCNews on line (11 October) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19906024-
A substantial increase in the number of flexible criminal justice pilot schemes across England and Wales is to be announced by the government.
The measures include the extending the hours of magistrates' courts and maximising the use of video links.
The pilot schemes will launch in 48 areas in the coming weeks, each testing one or more of the flexible measures.
Policing minister Damian Green will announce the new schemes during a visit to Cardiff Magistrates' Court where he will watch a video link being used.
Why trouble to travel so far to make this announcement? He could have had the same 'photo-op' - at less cost, less inconvenience to the Court process, and less used of 'Scarce Policing Resources' - by video link, from the snug premises of 'Minitrue' in London.
Most burglars are teenagers, often who should be attending school. Shooting blindly into the dark at those who trespass is fraught. A recent case in NY, NY USA, demonstrates this nicely. The assassin killed his own son who was on a close relatives premises ....ReplyDelete
Trouble is, young, 90% men, burglars are profoundly stupid, lacking the ability to calculate the success rate of such a career choice, making them a real nuisance, causing damage and obtaining only a fraction of what the property stolen is worth, at risk of prison and all that it entails. As stupid and aggressive types, one commenter has already pinpointed the likely consequences of the robust approach: knives. There are also swords available! Silent and even the stupid can be lethal.
Shouting at the intruder usually works well, possibly even producing urine on the floor, as they regard burglary as easier than mugging! There is more to be said for allowing robust self defence in a mugging situation, if the victim is not fleet of foot. But usually a weapon is in evidence, so violence is best avoided.
Due to the Monroe doctrine and other stupidity, the twenty most violent cities are in South/Central America. There is no shortage of weapons, gangs etc. It all boils down to GINI coefficients and allowing the stupid aggresives a strategic exit?
Jonathon HW : My nearest police station open at night is 12 miles away, but that is in a different force area from the one where I live. My nearest in force station is about 35 miles away along country roads. It takes me about 55 minutes to get to that town on a good day - with blues and twos - I suspect about about 40 minutes. Meanwhile johnny burglar is doing what? And what am I supposed to do?ReplyDelete