Sunday, October 12, 2008

Online Justice

When you are finally appointed as a Magistrate, you are granted access to the online Judicial Intranet which contains every guideline, protocol, speech or news item relevant to anyone across the entire Justice system. This is a marvellous invention which avoids you having to find room for a shed-load of paper manuals at home. As well as all-too relevant resources such as up-to-date copies of the Bench Books, there are some pretty strange documents. My favourite is "Procedure for Circuit Judge’s application for a 10-year replacement robe".

There is a very useful FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section, which among other things tells me that even though I'm likely to be in court 26+ sessions every year, I'm still not exempt from Jury Service, which strikes me as rather unfair.

Oh, and according to the "Media Guide for Magistrates" - if I am ever door-stepped by a ravening pack of tabloid journos, then my first instinct (a gruff "No Comment!" ) is not encouraged. Instead I should politely and calmly recite my favourite stock answer, along the lines of "I have said everything I intend to say about the case in court, and have nothing further to add".

So much to learn.

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