I have just finished writing a reference for a former colleague who has moved to a rural area. Unfortunately she is unable to obtain a transfer to a bench near her new home. This sort of thing happens all the time, as the radical reorganisation of our courts as well as the remorseless shrinkage in the size of the magistracy has led to a majority of benches putting a near-freeze on recruitment and transfers.
It is hard on someone who has gone through the training process and then gathered valuable experience of sitting to find him or herself out in the cold like this, but limited recruitment must continue to allow the bench to renew itself, if we are not to end up as a bunch of pensioners (like me, I hear you cry).
My ex-colleague has volunteered for Witness Support (which is what the reference is for). That is a very important and necessary organisation, and I wish her well.
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