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The Justice of the Peace
WHAT IS THE "SENIOR MAGISTRACY"?
The Justice of the Peace
on the 28
April 2020 at 11:57
- Posted in
Yesterday the Lord Chancellor made the following statement in reply to a question in the House of Lords,
I thank the hon. Lady for that question. She will be glad to know that daily work is going on between my officials and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service, the senior judiciary
and the senior magistracy
to make sure that we can progress more cases through both the magistrates and the Crown courts. Of immediate importance are magistrates court hearings: I want to see more of them come forward. We can do a lot of them virtually, and I know that the work being done by my hon. Friend the Minister for Crime and Policing, together with my Department, will help improve the speed of the delivery of these important cases
My simple point is what is
the senior magistracy
? My suspicions are that I know what it is not likely to be and that is the various chairman of the various benches known as the bench chairmen`s forum. Not likely because these people are elected by their colleagues and the last thing government wants to hear are the opinions of the 15,000 people who are currently appearing in court when requested and able. Perhaps, just perhaps, the chairman of the Magistrates Association was involved. In all probability this so called discussion with senior magistracy consists of discussion with the six magistrates appointed within the last two years by the senior presiding judge himself appointed by the Lord Chancellor. One might comment that if the LC can appoint judges` representatives as being "senior" why not these "leadership" magistrates. The difference is that magistrates are volunteers and not paid civil servants beholden to government for their incomes, career progression and pensions. These leadership toads represent nobody but themselves. We all know in all professions there are those who seek prominence and adulation and stand in line for their gongs at some future time. Such people are not representatives of the rank and file of my former colleagues. It is just another small step in the planned elimination of magistrates from presiding as they do over the vast majority of court sittings in the lower court. Nobody seems to notice and nobody seems to care. For further posts on "leadership magistrates" type those words into the search box.
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