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Showing posts from November, 2012

Prisoner mentors could be more use elsewhere

The Government is proposing that people released from prison will have mentors to help them get back to a normal, law abiding life.  This is great news, except that I kind of thought that was what probation was supposed to be doing as part of the supervision that is part of most ex-prisoners licence.  Admittedly probation won't get involved with very short term prisoners, but then again if there are in for such a short time will they have a chance to build up a relationship with their mentor prior to release, which I understand is the whole point?

I'm going to let you into a little secret, which is that the majority of petty crime is committed by people who grew up in poor and dysfunctional homes - at least that's what my experience tells me.  I can name one man who became alcoholic thief despite coming from a very wealthy family, attending private school, university and having all the privileges you could want in life.  But, he sticks in my mind because he is so unusual. …

I want to limit your access to justice

I have come up with a brilliant idea that will enable me to grow my business faster, with less red tape and bureaucracy.  It's so simple that I can't believe nobody else has thought it up.

Put simply, I want to make it harder for people to sue me or challenge my decisions.  I think that by doing this I will be able to do pretty much what I like when I like.  This will enable me to take positive decisions, not only for my business and myself but also for the wider community.  Ultimately, I'd like to see a system where it is either unlawful or so mind-numbingly expensive to sue me that it's easier just to let me get on with what I like no matter how much it screws up the lives of other people... I think I'll call these other people the "ordinaries".

By now I'm assuming that you all think I have lost my mind, if you do then you must be a smelly oik ordinary. 

My plan may sound like the ravings of a power-hungry lunatic, but they are exactly what our est…

Secret trials and the police state

There are a few things that suggest a country is heading toward a police state, such as the introduction of obligatory ID cards, monitoring of citizens behaviour and movements and taking justice from the public view into a secret world.

How are we doing?  On ID cards we don't have them thanks to some serious criticism despite concerted efforts by both Tory and Labour governments. 

On monitoring, the Sunday Times reported yesterday that Capita have created a database, called One, that contains lots of very personal information about 8 million British children, including addresses, photographs, school reports and some medical information.  Crapita make clear that there is no central database, each council has its own local database.  Crapita also sell software they call API, which allows police, medics, local authorities and quite a few other organisation.  But that's okay because Capita say very few organisations have bought the API software.

Also on monitoring, there is regula…

Committal hearings to be scraped

The Government are to do away with committal hearings, although it's worth saying that this policy was announced about 16 trillion years ago but nothing seems to have happened since 2001 when committal hearings were abolished for indictable only offences.

I am aware that some of my readers may not have the first clue what I'm on about, so I'll explain a little - if you know what a committal hearing is then skip this paragraph.  All criminal cases begin life in the magistrates court.  Some cases can be tried in either the magistrates or Crown Court, these are called "either-way offences".  If the magistrates decide the case is too serous for them to handle, or the defendant chooses to have his case heard by a jury then the case is committed for trial.  This means that the prosecution are given several weeks to photocopy their witness statements and produce whatever evidence they intend to rely upon.  At a committal hearing the papers are served upon the defence an…