I have survived a long and convoluted process and subject to a Criminal Records Bureau background check and a nod from the Lord Chancellor, I'm to become one of 30,000 lay Magistrates, with a bewildering range of responsibilities for administering justice in my part of the world.
As a result, I've spent the day oscillating between panic and anticipation and walking around pretending I'm Judge Dredd :
" I am the law! Put down your weapons and prepare to be judged." [[Points imaginary blaster at imaginary scumbag and opens fire "Ker-Powww !"]]I definitely will have to snap out of that.
The definitive magistrate's blog is Bystander, which is required reading for those wanting to know what's really going on in the English criminal justice system. If I ever mention anything however indirectly about my new job on this blog, I will definitely be following his protocol :-
Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.Further bulletins as events warrant.