Wednesday, August 01, 2007

See You In Court

I went to a Magistrates Court today, and my mind is still somewhat reeling. It seems I've been living really quite a sheltered life.

The theory is that I am going to apply to become a Magistrate.

I've been on the look-out for some time for something voluntary and worthy that will provide a bit of a relief from doing-stuff-to-pay-the-mortgage. The thing is, I'm egotistical enough to think that doing a shift on the till at Oxfam would be a waste of my talents - I am looking for something that is a challenge, useful and damn-all to do with IT.

Before applying, they suggest you actually attend a court session.

Further bulletins when my head settles down a bit. The thing about being a goodie-goodie middle-class professional is that you're not used to seeing petty thieves, drug addicts, men in handcuffs, people with over 100 previous convictions, wife-beaters, people who claim to have "found" knives before a fight, drunk-drivers, people who don't have any addresses to be bailed to etc. etc.

Sudden exposure to the hidden horrors in our society can cause dizzyness and nausea. But I'll get over it, and I'm doubly convinced now that I want to be a part of this yucky thing we call "Justice".

If I can't be a magistrate there's always scope to go around righting wrongs with my underpants on over my trousers. Is it a Bird ? Is it Plane ? No, it's Stan Man !


Kenny said...

The thought of you with your underpants over your trousers is truly repugnant. Hilarious, but repugnant.

Admirable goal though -- but "justice" is in the eye of the beholder.

Flitcraft said...

Do you know and read this blog?

You might find it interesting. There are also some interesting police/emergency service blogs which deal with the denizens of the criminal justice system, much as David Attenborough might move among the undergrowth scrutinising pangolins or what not, but with a much more jaundiced eye.

Yes, middle class life does tend to deprive one of contact with the true ned. Living in central Edinburgh I see them hanging about outside the courts waiting for their pal/relative whoever's case to be called or screaming drunk in my street at 3am in the morning, but thankfully rarely closer than that. It might be worth it simply for the insight into life on another planet. but you should beware of the amount of bureaucracy Tony and his cronies have loaded into the courts since they got elected.

Stan said...

Actually I had absurdly low expectations to start with. I assumed Magistrates were old-boy, public-school, Tory, Masonic, Golf-Club types. I assumed they would adopt impose their middle-class values on under-class problems ("get a job and get a haircut"). From what I've seen that's not the case.

The way I look at it - you don't get to moan about the state of Justice in this country unless you get involved. So I'm going to get involved.

Good issue about political interference - I'll see if I can organise my thoughts on the fact that since Crown Courts can't send anyone to prison, Magistrates Court have become more important than ever in the Justice system.