Law Review: An even more daft idea from a magistrate

A week or so ago I wrote, reasonably seriously, about a half baked plan to have Magistrates Courts set up in shopping malls – an idea that The Magistrates Association appears to have retreated from.

Law Review: Magistrates call for courts in shopping centres – a parody?

Unfortunately, another even less baked idea has been put forward by a magistrate… as reported in The Guardian today.  I am grateful to @BristolRed for the tip off to The Guardian report.

The Guardian reports: “Any takers for the justice bus? This unlikely sounding proposition, a mobile court travelling far-flung parts of the country dispensing justice, was floated recently, along with the idea of “pop-up” courts in supermarkets.

Both were suggested as ways of preserving local justice in the face of the huge court closure plan. Ministers want to save £15.3m by redrawing the justice map and closing 157 magistrates and county courts.

…. “As for the justice bus, a Norwich JP, Diana Reid, has in mind a decommissioned double-decker to take justice to remote communities. In a recent article for the Magistrates Association magazine, she describes the Tardis-like properties of the vehicle: “Upstairs are the supporting admin staff, and a separated area for the lawyers. On the lower level the space is divided into a very small waiting area; the ‘court room area’ and a very small ‘retiring area’.” Quite; there’s not much room for dignity, let alone anything else.”

It might be a good idea for Ken Clarke, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice to have a look at some of the people who are magistrates as part of his review of criminal justice – if these ideas are popping into the minds of those who are dispensing justice on the cheap?

Twitter often comes up with a pithy comment and I think @djhanks has hit the nail on the head with this one worder  tweet….

10 thoughts on “Law Review: An even more daft idea from a magistrate

  1. God help us! I do note the irony of the picture as this must be the ‘first’ idea for which the person suggesting it should be shot!

    No surprise that the ‘support staff’ and lawyers get more room than the ‘court’! And the ‘space’ for lawyers to talk to their clients?

    Question CQC: do not magisterial hearings have to be held in the judicial area where the alleged crime was commited?

    Apols but words fail me for further comment!

  2. Well, the magistrates are getting closer (literally if not figuratively). First, they’re at staid courts where no one wants to go. Then they propose to be at malls where everyone probably is at some time or another, albeit not in a frame of mind to meet a magistrate. Now, the magistrates propose to come ’round to your place in the fun bus… no trouble, don’t get up, we’re coming to you! Give them some credit for trying.

    I figure the next step will be to combine the magistrates’ courts with social location sites like Foursquare, Gowalla, and Facebook Places. Magistrates will just wander around and check in here and there; if you’re an ASBO violator, parking scofflaw, or unruly chav and you’re nearby, your mobile will ping you a summons: “MagJudge39 has unlocked the magistrate badge in the bread aisle at the Tesco across the street. Come over when you can to unlock the defendant badge on that cat-binning you did last week!”

  3. WFW – The general idea is that Magistrates are local. Mind you… the Judges go on Assize…and have done from some time… they don’t generally, go in a double-decker bus or travel with their own court.

    If these people carry on coming up with their own satire… I’ll be redundant.

  4. Along with countless other members I am beyond dismay at the ludicrous outpourings of the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Magistrates` Association and some of their supporters. It is beyond belief when reasoned discussion with Clarke and his dept is sorely needed these apologies for common sense have brought JPs into the realms of farce. I have blogged at length on the shortcomings of much within the “justice system” but within the Magistrates` Association it`s a case of looking at whether it`s worth its weight in cartridge fluid.

  5. The Justice of The Peace – I don’t usually criticise magistrates – simply because they are members of the public doing what they can – but recent pronouncements are beyond farce….

    Did you like my Photoshopped bus?

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