Sunday, November 16, 2008

Magistrate Mentor Meeting

Sorry it has been a while since the last posting - I have been absurdly busy with my Day Job as well as working my way through the magistrate core training workbook in my copious free time.

I had a pleasant meeting today (Sunday) with my magistrate mentor. He's an 8-year veteran, who is currently in the throes of his magistrate chairman training. The idea is that in my first year we will sit on the same panel of magistrates together on between three and six occasions. The fact that he isn't yet a chairman means that when we do sit together there will be two old-hands with me, which is quite a comforting thought.

The workbook is hard-going. I've been repeatedly told that we're not expected to have mastered it before we attend training, but I'm someone who finds it difficult to do part of a job.

One of the ways I'm attempting to get on top of the material is with mind maps. I've recently discovered the FreeMind software which makes it very easy to draw them. Here's my crib notes on Road Traffic offences for example :-

Finally, some trivia on Road Traffic offences with which to amaze your friends:
  • You can get points on your license for disobeying a "Stop" sign, but not a "Give Way" sign
  • Kerb Crawlers can be disqualified from driving, even though the offence is not one which involves getting points on your licence.
  • Any sob-story you use to attempt to escape disqualification cannot be reused within 3 years.


ArcticFox said...

hang on just a cotton-picking moment..... If I use a sob story to escape disqualification and it doesn't work, then surely there's no record as to whether I use it again in the next three years.... does this only apply to where it works and actually DOES get you off?


Stan said...

I'm afraid it's anything that was "taken into account", even if no benefit was actually gained.

An especially dim view would be taken if the excuse is that your Mum died for the second time.

S.35 RTOA 1988 says -

"(1)(a) where a person is convicted of an offence....and (b) the penalty points to be taken into account on that occasion number twelve or more, the court must order him to be disqualified unless.....there are grounds for mitigating the normal consequences of the conviction.........(4) No account is taken of any of the following circumstances....(c) any circumstance which, within the three years immediately preceding the conviction have been taken into account...."

Stan said...

Whoopsie - asked around and in fact Mr Fox is right - there's only a problem if the excuse was accepted and made a difference. Keep forgetting I'm not a legal expert and I shouldn't pretend I am.