Magistrate’s take on ID

I am tickled pink by the “Bystander”‘s take on today’s announcement of the increase in expected costs for Labour’s ID card scheme.

“It’s still cheaper than the Olympics.”

Bah, indeed.

Yesterday I was in a magistrates court before some of his colleagues, supporting residents of my ward as they went to watch the Council defend an appeal against a noise abatement order.  A bus company has started work in very close proximity to a housing estate, and the worst affected of the residents have had interrupted sleep for over a year, the loss of the gardens to diesel fumes, vastly increased traffic on nearby roads, and so on.  The noise abatement order is an attempt to force the company to abandon all night working, but whilst the appeal is in progress, the company can continue as before.

My first trip to the Magistrates’ Court in Nottingham was fascinating.  The building is enormous, and very well appointed.  A vast glass atrium gives views of an unusual line up of the Council House dome and St Peter’s church spire, with the canal in the foreground.  Apparently, the atrium is much more impressive now it no longer leaks.

Around the huge space 16 courts are laid out over three floors.  I imagine some are bigger than others.  We were in court 14 on the third floor, in front of well-spoken lay magistrates and a hassled-looking court clerk who appeared to do the bulk of the work.


2 comments on “Magistrate’s take on ID

  1. Kathryn says:

    I did a few weeks’ work experience at the Nottingham Magistrates’ Court the summer I graduated – yep the clerk does most of the work…they’re the legally qualified ones! I saw a couple of interesting trials, and a lot of TV licence prosecutions – not the most scintillating of cases!!!!

  2. niles says:

    There was a case ahead of us I was struggling to keep a straight face during. I don’t know if I’m allowed to talk about it, because it must surely be unique and identifiable? But the case for enforcing a parking fine for Broxtowe Borough Council was drawn out and tedious, and they must do hundreds of those a day.

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