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written by The Justice of the Peace on the 24th October 2017 at 12:53

For as long as I was on the bench the gong hungry top table at the Magistrates Association clamoured for increased custodial sentencing powers for magistrates` courts.  I can recollect absolutely not a single word or utterance from representatives of District Judges(MC) on the topic.  This government, like all the previous of the last twenty years, has paid lip service to all the fine work that JPs do whilst calmly sending the matter into the very long grass where it has lain quietly and forgotten. It is no surprise therefore that the following was made clear to all interested parties in a parliamentary answer recently:- 
Let me be quite clear; there is absolutely no chance at all in the next twenty years that this situation will change. Indeed it is highly unlikely that courts will even have a JP presiding over them.  In future their jobs will entail out of court activities eg simple offences of littering fines unpaid or the like. But those MA folk in their nice new offices will still hunger for their meetings with junior ministers and purr gratefully when their tummies are tickled by ministerial praise.
 Originally posted at

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