Judges who blog

I just came across ‘Trevor‘, a blog written by a Magistrate. Reading through some of the entries, you could accuse him of being a human being which, considering my view on the Judiciary as a whole, means that I may have to vary my opinions in future. I found this blog through the UK Human Rights blog entry about the banning of blogging in any judicial capacity.

I want to explore a couple of comments from the HR blog because I feel that they are important issues; the first written by an anonymous writer on the Near Legal housing law blog argues that the ban is “short-sighted” and likely to have a “damaging effect on public understanding of the legal system and transparency“.

Royal 13 B.VIII, f.22In my experience, the public have very little understanding of the legal system and the profession as a whole do their utmost to ensure that the public never does. Like the Cistercian monks, they maintain domination over the law by clinging to Latin, an obscure language that, while at the root of English, does little to foster understanding in this modern age.

There may be value in this medieval language but when a member of the public is presented with terminology such as a mensa et thoro or absque hoc they do not immediately know what it might mean and most importantly, they will never know the nuances inherent in its use within the legal profession. The result is that they have to call in a professional, a solicitor and/or a barrister who will interpret the obscure meanings. The public are not part of the club, they will not have lunch with their opposition, discuss a deal over drinks or on the tennis court.

With the removal of most legal aid, the public are even more at the mercy of the legal system and the courts. Any forum that fosters understanding must be encouraged in order to redress the imbalance which has formed as a result of changes to legal aid and the ability to have a fair trial only if you are able to pay for it.

Another comment comes from the guidance issued to members of the judiciary which reads;

“They must also avoid expressing opinions which, were it to become known that they hold judicial office, could damage public confidence in their own impartiality or in the judiciary in general”.

'Hmmm...It is: innocent until proven guilty? Or is it: guilty until proven innocent?'The democratic process and purported transparency in public office demands that the truth always be made known. If a judge finds himself at odds with the laws as passed by Parliament, they must interpret them to the best of their ability but it is this self-interpretation that leads to such a bollixed system and gives an out to a judge who might make a decision that reeks of injustice – it’s simply not good enough.

I’m not saying that being a judge is an easy role but when anyone in public office decides to use their position inappropriately as in the Guardian’s ‘Who is judging the judges?‘, all decisions of that judge should immediately come under scrutiny to ensure that there was no bias, corruption or other hidden agenda or just plain incompetence.



Welcome to the para…military games

Is it just us or has this country totally lost it?

Not content with a massive overspend on the games and not content with hiring a company that is obviously incompetent yet still demands payment for a service it has failed to deliver and not content with clogging the arteries of the nations capital for a few days of sports; the 2012 Olympics has turned more into a paramilitary exercise than an event of sporting cooperation.

We appreciate that ‘calling in the troops’ is a sensible way to provide the personnel that GS4 have failed to provide but in combination with the containment fences, CCTV surveillance systems and all the other ‘precautions’ the London Olympics is yet another failure that is costing the public some £24billion according to figures – this is ten times more than the original estimate but of course according to Tessa Jowell at the time, it’s government money isn’t it!

Rocket launchers on top of people’s homes?  Is this really necessary?  Do you feel safer?  Is this an exercise in policing the games or an exercise in exercising control over the people?  The lines are blurring and the concerns are rising.

When will the people of this country learn?

GS4 and the face of greed as tens of millions stolen from tax payer

While disabled and vulnerable people are standing trial for accessing grants that created worthwhile jobs for many people and showed up the DWP in the bargain, the bosses of GS4 insist that they should still be paid even though they have failed dismally to ‘deliver the goods’.

Apparently, Nick Buckles (seen here), chief executive of the world’s second largest private sector employer, said he was sorry and “deeply disappointed” after the firm failed to deliver on its £284million Olympics security contract. But he repeatedly insisted the firm still intended to claim its £57million management fee for work over the last two years, even though it cannot provide the guards needed for the Games.

And you know what, the government will pay the £57million from our pockets because they are incompetent bullies and they only pick fights they feel they can win – they won’t go head-to-head with the big boys but rather target disabled people and individuals who are trying to make a real difference.

Compare what’s happening in court 8 at Southwark with this fiasco and decide who is the biggest crook.

Mega mars bar misdirection

Being a simple soul, I’d expect a Mars bar to cost no more than 80p of anyone’s money.  If I’d been told a few years back that this simple confectionery would cost me or the tax payer say £112,800, I’d say “you’re barmy” but it seems that some wag with too much drink in his system stole one of these from a shop and has been sent to HMP Wandsworth for four months.

Now, we’re not saying that theft is right but we have to wonder if the £800 a day bill to the tax payer is proportionate to the actual crime itself?  The legal aid bill, the time of the court, the ushers, the police, the solicitors, the barristers and more will have hiked the overall costs to the public to around £100,000 and the four months will result in a further £12,800 bill making this perhaps the most expensive Mars Bar in history.

Is it proportionate when known terrorists are allowed to walk the street – you decide!

Oh my goodness, disabled bikers are everywhere .. whatever next!

We’ve just been told about a wonderful charity called The Bike Experience who have the audacity to allow and even encourage disabled people to ride motorcycles – whatever next.

Apparently there seems to be no real barrier to anyone with a disability who want’s to ride a motorcycle to do so so quite why the DWP think it impossible is unclear.  With proper planning and suitable adaptations a disabled motorcyclist can ride again.

Careful, there’s more of them – out of the wheelchair and onto the bike.

Apparently there are more disabled people daring to defy convention and are getting themselves out of their wheelchairs and onto motorcycles – how very dare they.

Surely, they should be at home in front of the TV, munching their way through packets of crisps and not daring to show their faces above the disability parapet?

This can’t be right … it’s not contagious is it, this defying of convention, this abject disregard for the order of the universe?

Bloody good job and more power to you all guys!  Maybe you should ride along to Southwark Crown Court and let the powers that be understand that being disabled doesn’t mean you should not have a life.