Why The Magistrates Courts Aren’t Working – Each Other

Posted May 23rd, 2023 in courts, criminal justice, diversity, magistrates, news by sally

‘In 2022, the Criminal Bar Association voted to undertake industrial action, bringing the dire state of much of the criminal justice system into the public eye. Following successive cuts by the government, among the issues were unusable court buildings, including broken toilets, leaking ceilings and malfunctioning heating systems, and the dismal remuneration received by barristers – barristers who are tasked with working on the most serious cases across the Crown Courts.’

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Each Other, 19th May 2023

Source: eachother.org.uk

Entering properties to fit a prepayment meter – what test should the Magistrates apply when granting a warrant? – No. 5 Chambers

Posted April 14th, 2023 in chambers articles, energy, magistrates, news, warrants by sally

‘Under the legislation there is no automatic right for an affected party to apply to the magistrates to apply to stay or adjourn the execution of the warrant.’

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No. 5 Chambers, 29th March 2023

Source: www.no5.com

Magistrates’ sentencing powers scaled back – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted March 13th, 2023 in Crown Court, delay, magistrates, Ministry of Justice, news, sentencing by tracey

‘Magistrates have had controversial powers that enabled them to sentence people for up to a year in prison taken away from them – but they could be restored, the government has said.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 10th March 2023

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Prepayment meters: Magistrates told to stop allowing forced installations – BBC News

Posted February 7th, 2023 in bailiffs, energy, magistrates, news, utilities by sally

‘Magistrates courts in England and Wales are to stop hearing and ruling on applications from energy firms to forcibly install prepayment meters with immediate effect.’

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BBC News, 6th February 2023

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

In conversation with District Judge (MC) Briony Clarke – Courts & Tribunals Judiciary

Posted December 2nd, 2022 in diversity, equality, judges, magistrates, news, women by tracey

‘Find out about District Judge (MC) Briony Clarke’s career journey and her experiences of being a woman in the legal profession.’

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Courts & Tribunals Judiciary, 1st December 2022

Source: www.judiciary.uk

NEWS ‘Defendants in the bath’: magistrates reveal remote-hearing concerns – Law Society’s Gazette

‘Three-quarters of magistrates do not want remote links to be used as extensively as they were during the pandemic, according to landmark research on their experiences in the criminal courts. After canvassing the views of 865 magistrates, a report published by the Magistrates Association, assisted by legal charity Transform Justice, concludes that audio and video links negatively impact communication and effective participation, particularly for vulnerable court users.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 12th April 2022

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Greater Sentencing Power for Magistrates – A Solution to the Backlog? – Pump Court Chambers

‘It was confirmed on 18 January 2020 that Magistrates are to have their sentencing powers increased in the coming months, granting them broader power than ever before. The most significant change is that Magistrates’ will be able to impose a sentence of up to 12 months in custody which is double the previous maximum sentence. Effectively, this means that Magistrates will be able to accept jurisdiction for more serious either way offences, such as for Fraud, Theft or Assault, which would have originally been sent to the Crown Court without giving the Defendant the option to elect to remain in the Magistrates’.’

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Pump Court Chambers, 7th February 2022

Source: www.pumpcourtchambers.com

Campaign seeks to recruit 4,000 lay magistrates in England and Wales – The Guardian

Posted January 25th, 2022 in coronavirus, criminal justice, delay, magistrates, minorities, news, recruitment by sally

‘Adults in England and Wales are being encouraged to apply online via “a revised, streamlined recruitment process” to become a lay magistrate, in an effort to tackle a backlog of criminal cases caused by the pandemic.’

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The Guardian, 24th January 2022

Source: www.theguardian.com

Raab defends plan to double magistrates’ sentencing powers – The Independent

Posted January 18th, 2022 in courts, delay, imprisonment, magistrates, news, sentencing by tracey

‘The Justice Secretary has dismissed criticism of plans to double magistrates’ sentencing powers in a bid to tackle the backlog of cases waiting to be dealt with by criminal courts.’

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The Independent, 18th January 2022

Source: www.independent.co.uk

Magistrates to get power to jail offenders for a year – BBC News

Posted January 18th, 2022 in courts, delay, imprisonment, magistrates, news, sentencing by tracey

‘Magistrates in England and Wales will have greater sentencing powers to enable them to take on more cases, under plans to clear court backlogs.’

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BBC news, 18th January 2022

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

The Queen (o.a.o Rayner) v Leeds Magistrates Court: closure orders, legal aid reviews and adjournments – Nearly Legal

‘In this recent judicial review (2021) EWHC 1964 (Admin) H.H. Judge Gosnell addressed interesting questions around closure orders, adjournments, Article 6(1) rights, and the refusal of the Magistrates Court to state a case. He declined to grant relief because the issue had become academic, but if that had not been the case he would have found for the Claimant. Leeds City Council, the Claimant’s landlord, were an Interested Party in the JR, took a neutral position and were not represented. Leeds District Magistrates Court, the Defendant, did the same, the usual approach where a court is challenged.’

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Nearly Legal, 8th August 2021

Source: nearlylegal.co.uk

Fit for Purpose? Fitness to Plead and Mental Health in the Magistrates’ court – Carmelite Chambers

Posted June 24th, 2021 in fitness to plead, magistrates, mental health, news by sally

‘An analysis of the law on fitness to plead and stand trial in the magistrates’ courts: Silas Lee reviews the key issues and provides some take-away points for defence representatives.’

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Carmelite Chambers, 6th June 2021

Source: www.carmelitechambers.co.uk

Extinction Rebellion trial delayed as accused glues hand to table – BBC News

Posted May 11th, 2021 in delay, demonstrations, magistrates, news, road safety by sally

‘A trial of six people over an Extinction Rebellion protest was delayed when a defendant glued himself to a table in court.’

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BBC News, 10th May 2021

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Judges will be allowed to retire at 75 – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted March 9th, 2021 in coroners, judiciary, magistrates, Ministry of Justice, news, retirement by tracey

‘Judges, magistrates and coroners will be allowed to work up until the age of 75, the government announced today. The current standard mandatory retirement age of 70 dates from 1993. The Ministry of Justice said the change seeks to address the fact that people now work later into their lives and the government did not want to lose valued members of the judiciary.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 8th March 2021

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Court of Appeal rejects appeal by ex-magistrate over dismissal for views on adoption by same-sex couple – Local Government Lawyer

‘A magistrate and NHS trust board member who was dismissed over his views – based on his beliefs as a Christian – about the appropriateness of the adoption of a child by a same-sex couple, has lost two cases in the Court of Appeal.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 4th March 2021

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

E-scooter rider given ban for drink-driving on Isle of Wight – BBC News

Posted January 19th, 2021 in drunk in charge, magistrates, motorcycles, news, sentencing by sally

‘A woman is thought to be the first person in the UK to be found guilty of drink-driving while using an e-scooter.’

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BBC News, 18th January 2021

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Law Society calls for two-week pause of non-custodial Crown and Magistrates court work – Local Government Lawyer

‘The Law Society has called for urgent action including a possible two-week pause of non-custodial Crown and magistrates’ court work “amid escalating safety concerns”.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 15th January 2021

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Judges “most likely to discriminate” against Black barristers – Legal Futures

Posted November 19th, 2020 in barristers, judiciary, magistrates, news, race discrimination, racism, reports, statistics by sally

‘Black barristers are most likely to experience racial discrimination from judges or magistrates than other lawyers, a report has found.’

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Legal Futures, 19th November 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Half of coronavirus fines go unpaid in England and Wales – The Guardian

Posted October 1st, 2020 in coronavirus, enforcement, fines, magistrates, news, penalties, police, regulations by sally

‘Half the fines issued by police for breaches of coronavirus rules in England and Wales have not been paid and will be dealt with by the already beleaguered courts, it has been revealed.’

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The Guardian, 30th September 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Illusory Open Justice: A Kafkan Attempt to Observe Magistrates Courts in the Time of COVID-19 – Transparency Project

Posted May 27th, 2020 in coronavirus, criminal justice, magistrates, news, remote hearings by sally

‘COVID-19 has taken a hammer to the already fragile transparency in our justice system. Open justice means that justice must not only be done but must be seen to be done. While journalists and court reporters can bring what happens in court to houses around the country, public access to our courts ensures judges and lawyers are sufficiently scrutinised. The coronavirus pandemic and the transition to virtual courts has all but severed public access to magistrates’ courts, risking the routine occurrence of miscarriages of justice with little prospect of correction.’

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Transparency Project, 27th May 2020

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.uk