Tuesday, June 17, 2014

That's A New One

We were listed to hear an all-day trial yesterday, but the defendant had returned to his Eastern European home town a week ago, where he sadly died, so that was the end of that.
We busied ourselves with a few Search Warrants, which are much more complicated these days, following High Court rulings that a warrant is a serious interference with the citizen's liberty. There is now a multi-page application form on which the judge or justice has to state reasons for granting the warrant. JPs who deal with warrants at home have to be extra careful these days.
 I have never dealt with an application at home because I live too far from the court, but colleagues who live a short way from the police station are well used to a nocturnal phone call from the duty clerk followed by a visit from an officer.
We then dealt with a couple of Pre-Sentence Report cases, both involving Eastern Europeans, and I was able to warn them that if they were tempted to ignore the financial penalties, such as costs and surcharge, the fact would come up on the Border Force computer every time that they came to the UK, when they could expect some cell time at the airport.


  1. Just curious: does a search warrant need a bench of three, or are they done by individual JPs even when in court ?

    1. It used to be a grey area and benches often considered them together. These days. it's one JP - one warrant.

  2. http://www.ukpolicelawblog.com/2013/01/08/search-warrants-avoiding-the-pitfalls/

  3. I've done quite a lot of out-of-hours warrants. I always set up the lounge as a courtroom because I think some formality is appropriate.

    And I always smile to myself about the neighbours twitching their net-curtains and wondering what is going on with the police coming and going in the small hours . . .

  4. The last time I signed a warrant at home, the police asked me the best way back to their station.....

    Why don't DJs sign warrants at home (except in specific cases such as terrorism related)?

  5. Returning to your eastern European home and "dying" would seem to me to be an excellent way to beat the rap on something. You didn't consider a habeas corpus writ against whoever claimed to have the remains of the ex-defendent?


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