In this highly informed account of the magistracy, the author deals with key issues touching on that institution.
Focussing on what Lord Bingham, Lord Chief Justice, described as a 'democratic jewel beyond price', he explains its rationale, goals and over-riding values.
Dealing with major developments, economics, management, day-to-day practicalities and changing times he casts an experienced eye over summary justice, law and order and its fascinating history of local administration. Describing the magistracy as a great national institution, independent, respected and a true people's court, John Hosking nevertheless decries a halving of its size, closure of courthouses, remote services and increasing reliance on professional judges rather than community volunteers.
Though much has changed for the better to increase competency, meet criticism and maintain integrity, etc., this personal viewpoint explains how a casualty of such changes has been the very status of the lay magistracy and inroads into the cherished principle of public and democratic participation in the justice system. Extracts'It ... ill-behoves politicians and reformers to support actions which may be designed to improve the justice system as a whole, but which devalue the magistracy in the process.
Likewise, the sustainability of the magistracy can only be assured if the popular demands of the present ... are met without compromising the future of the whole institution.''In addition to its unquestioned integrity and independence, the most persuasive reason for having a lay magistracy is that ... it manifestly does a good job at a very low cost.'
- Format: Paperback / softback
- Pages: 252 pages
- Publisher: Waterside Press
- Publication Date: 18/03/2020
- Category: Legal system: general
- ISBN: 9781909976740