Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.





Comments are usually moderated. However, I do not accept any legal responsibility for the content of any comment. If any comment seems submitted just to advertise a website it will not be published.

Monday, 30 January 2017

HMCTS DOES ITS OWN COURT REPORTS

I have previously more than once commented upon the dearth of local reports of the day to day happenings at Magistrates` Courts.  These posts have not been of universal condemnation and indeed almost a year ago it was a pleasure to praise one local newspaper for its court reports.  The important fact was that it was unbiased reporting by an independent newspaper.  Earlier this month on January 4th I commented that court reports of the events within West Susses local justice area, namely  for cases sentenced by West Sussex Magistrates’ Court sitting at Worthing and South East Hampshire Magistrates’ Court sitting at Portsmouth from December 19 to 23, 2016 were direct press releases from HMCTS. I also made comments re the newly appointed CEO of that organisation on Twitter.  Despite a Tweet from that new broom at HMCTS that I would be given an explanation for this subtle change in supposed news reports nothing was heard.  Recently the Worthing Herald published another press release as news, of cases sentenced also at West Sussex Magistrates` Court this time sitting at  Worthing in addition to cases from S.E. Hampshire Magistrates` Court sitting at Portsmouth. 

There is no doubt in my mind that in sending out press releases to anyone who subscribes for them the Ministry of Justice or Her Majesty`s Courts and Tribunal Service are offering information which can be used or discarded as appropriate for the subscriber.  However when such information is published in a newspaper the ramifications are quite different.  The information is not colated by a third party publisher.  Complaints or otherwise would rightly be directed at the editor/publisher.  It is the thin edge of a long thick wedge for HMCTS to take advantage of local news medias` shortage of staff and revenue to offer this page filling content. Reports could conceivably be less than strictly accurate or tailored to be approved by some government authority for for any nefarious purpose.  Such interference with "news" in this fashion must be opposed.
cases sentenced by West Sussex Magistrates’ Court sitting at Worthing and South East Hampshire Magistrates’ Court sitting at Portsmouth from January 16 to 20, 2017.

Read more at: http://www.worthingherald.co.uk/news/crime/hm-courts-service-results-list-for-january-16-to-20-2017-1-7794793
cases sentenced by West Sussex Magistrates’ Court sitting at Worthing and South East Hampshire Magistrates’ Court sitting at Portsmouth from January 16 to 20, 2017.

Read more at: http://www.worthingherald.co.uk/news/crime/hm-courts-service-results-list-for-january-16-to-20-2017-1-7794793
cases sentenced by West Sussex Magistrates’ Court sitting at Worthing and South East Hampshire Magistrates’ Court sitting at Portsmouth from January 16 to 20, 2017.

Read more at: http://www.worthingherald.co.uk/news/crime/hm-courts-service-results-list-for-january-16-to-20-2017-1-7794793

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