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Duty solicitors at court

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Re: Duty solicitors at court

Postby Spankymonkey » Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:49 pm

It occurs to me that you might be Mr B.


Well it occurs to you wrongly Shootist. But nice try of heading the ball into the goal of 'being patronized'.

So if I'm not capable of understanding the fineries of hearsay, I'm a career criminal who frequents the swarb forum to help assist me in all my illicit encounters because it's cheaper than a solicitor.

Maz JP wrote:a) I'm not David.



I never said you were. David is though. Hence why I quoted him and then responded to that comment.


Maz JP wrote:You'd be surprised at how well magistrates can understand intricacies. Maybe your belief that they are not up to such infinitely complex matters is down to your misunderstanding of the training involved which is completely factually incorrect. Not even near the actuality.
b)

Yes you are right maz. I exaggerated the amount of training by about 30 hours.

"The training when you start will add up to about 18 hours, or 3 full days, as well as some meetings."
"You should visit your local court at least once, and a few times if you can, to check the role is right for you."
"You must also be middle class, have a fawning respect for authority and enjoy the prospect of criminalising the working classes predominantly for not paying the telly tax or council tax."

Heres the link:
https://www.gov.uk/become-magistrate/ap ... magistrate


Maz JP wrote:d) Isn't that a wonderful next course of action? No charge, but in the circumstances I trust you'll forgive me for not addressing all of your other varied prejudices.


No charge? Are you not used to working for free?
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Re: Duty solicitors at court

Postby Maz JP » Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:57 pm

Spankymonkey wrote:Yes you are right maz. I exaggerated the amount of training by about 30 hours.

"The training when you start will add up to about 18 hours, or 3 full days, as well as some meetings."

Oh dear, I have just noticed this farrago of prejudice. The 30 hours refers to the training that needs to be undergone before a would-be JP can even begin to sit in Court, and when he/she does it is under the guidance of a trained mentor. (Like a Learner driver first taking to the road; we all have to start somewhere, yes?). But it can take up to a year of sitting before a magistrate can be freed from that mentor, and can be regarded as being trained. And even then, of course, training is ongoing, and appraisals are regular.

Spankymonkey wrote:"You must also be middle class, have a fawning respect for authority and enjoy the prospect of criminalising the working classes predominantly for not paying the telly tax or council tax."


I very much doubt if applicants who fit that bill would ever get past the interview panel. But of course, you didn't say that for any purpose other than to be offensive, so we'll let it pass. A cheap jibe : jolly well done, really advances discussion. (Personally, I'm all for expensive jibes, you know, the ones that are informed and witty, so please try harder).

There is a serious issue about diversity on the Bench to which I don't have an answer. The gender mix may now be about right, but whilst we are making great strides in reflecting the ethnic makeup of our communities, it is a fact that the magistracy is becoming more middle class than it used to be. Why? Well, it used to be that the nationalised industries allowed their staff time off to join the Bench (a significant amount of time is required, not least because of all that training...), but as these industries have disappeared and as other (local) government roles have come under greater pressure, it has simply become the case that the number of magistrates in full-time employment is falling. Employers are simply not willing to 'pay' for people to do a civic duty. (I should know : I'm an employer, and I wonder if I could afford a couple of JP's on my payroll).

It worries me, because the magistracy should be a diverse and energetic mix. And that means that we need to reflect society in all its demographics, including status, age and work experience. I don't have an answer though, at least not one that is realistic...
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Re: Duty solicitors at court

Postby 3.14 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:06 pm

Maz JP wrote:Oh dear, I have just noticed this farrago of prejudice.
Maz, I just wanted to tell you that I appreciate your contribution to this forum and to the Justice system. There are not many people who go out and actually do something to help rather than taking cheap shots.
Hide in the noise. #hackerwisdom
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Re: Duty solicitors at court

Postby atticus » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:08 pm

I agree.
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Re: Duty solicitors at court

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:27 pm

Count me in, too.
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Re: Duty solicitors at court

Postby DannyJP » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:39 pm

And me, but I am biased!
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Re: Duty solicitors at court

Postby Maz JP » Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:07 pm

Very kind, all. And so typical of this forum, which remains blissfully free of the worse excesses of the Internet.
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Re: Duty solicitors at court

Postby Spankymonkey » Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:49 pm

3.14 wrote:
Maz JP wrote:Oh dear, I have just noticed this farrago of prejudice.
Maz, I just wanted to tell you that I appreciate your contribution to this forum and to the Justice system. There are not many people who go out and actually do something to help rather than taking cheap shots.


I also devote a considerable amount of my working day helping others for free 3.14, so I also qualify as someone who 'goes out and actually does something to help'. I had also written that posting to Maz, some time ago in that "cheap shot" manner, because at the time I felt that I had been condescended by some of the regular users contributing to this thread. I wrongly or rightly believed Maz to be one of those contributors.

As David had the good grace to apologise to me in this thread, I will show the same courtesy to Maz and offer him my apologies if I have offended him. It was a crude joke, and not aimed at Maz personally, just a vent against the system.
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Re: Duty solicitors at court

Postby Maz JP » Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:33 am

It was the inaccuracies that offended me more than anything!

But thank you for the apology.
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Re: Duty solicitors at court

Postby Spankymonkey » Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:25 am

but whilst we are making great strides in reflecting the ethnic makeup of our communities


I fail to see how "Reflecting the ethnic make up of our communities" as you put it, will in any way improve the fairness of the magistrates' courts. Unless of course you are suggesting that the existing magistracy's decisions are currently influenced by the ethnicity or other protected characteristics of the defendant.

I find this type of politically fashionable group-think patronising and completely out of touch with what the public really want to see from the institutions that serve them. I could name about a hundred more deserving improvements the magistracy could make, that would improve the quality of justice it delivers, beginning with a magistracy that represents the class and culture of it's communities rather than it's ethnicity and gender.

However, I do appreciate your willing to accept that justices are predominantly middle class. The question is how much of an outreach does the magistrates association make to appeal to the working class? Perhaps also the panel that interview applicants should trouble themselves less with ensuring their own political ideals and narrative is reflected back at them and be more focused on the applicants understanding of the various types of defendant's that they will most commonly see before them and a commitment to fairness and proportionality.

But it can take up to a year of sitting before a magistrate can be freed from that mentor, and can be regarded as being trained.


And as a magistrate sits on average 35 times a year, that mentorship equates to just over a months worth of training, in court, during actual hearings, yes?
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