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Fuck off matey

Actually, fuck off Sir Simon:

Jury trials are archaic, and should be abandoned other than in exceptional cases.

23 thoughts on “Fuck off matey”

  1. The courts are broken because government runs them. They’re as shit at the administration of courts as they are at NHS administration and education administration.

    The one part that definitely works is juries. “Nah, fuck off, the law might say this, but this guy ain’t going to prison”. It’s the ultimate pushback against a distant executive. We, the people, can nullify your laws. The removal of the right to jury trial under Labour was a heinous act, and when people talk about how the monarchy protects our ancient liberties, they should remember that Brenda just signed it into law.

  2. Presumably he would prefer all cases to be presented by publicly funded barristers with judgement made by one of their former colleagues who, in most respects, will be no different to the political appointees (dis)gracing the American legal system. Our nascent Supreme Court has shown the way forward with its willingness to create law on the hoof. Witnesses of the non-expert variety will be limited to written statements rendering cross-examination unnecessary. Full rights of appeal will continue with arguments presented by even more expensive publicly funded counsel. Trebles all round.

  3. Allthegoodnamesaretaken

    Presumably a failure to hold the ‘correct views’ will be taken into account once juries are removed.

    At the conclusion of his long struggle in 1984, nothing is left within Winston except for love for Big Brother.

  4. Bloke in China (Germany province)

    I think I’d rather take my chances with a judge in Weimar than a jury of coviphrenics.

    But that’s the exception that proves the rule.

  5. BoM4

    Not just jury trial but double jeopardy, just to make the political point of nailing the Stephen Lawrence killers, even then the cops had to fit them up. One good thing that came out of it, I suppose, is the Babes in the Wood killer being found guilty, but even then he only walked because Sussex police ballsed up what should have been an open and shut case in 1988.

    I did Jury Service a few years ago and found one of the parties not guilty, because although we “felt” that he was involved, the prosecution had failed to produce a shred of evidence against him. In fact they had inadvertently managed to clear him by pursuing a completely fallacious path. We did our duty and took it very seriously. His partner went down for 10 years.

  6. I did Jury Duty a couple of decades ago, and similarly, although Eee Went Dahn, we cleared him of one charge because insufficient evidence was presented. He quite probably did it, but there was no evidence for it.

  7. I have recently served as a juror on two cases

    In a nominal 6 hour day working from ten until four we probably heard evidence for four to five hours

    I personally was impressed by the way barristers presented their cases keeping to the point, being succinct and getting quickly to the nub of an issue

    The Judge in both cases kept things running pretty smoothly and their directions were concise and very clear

    My fellow jurors were drawn from a very wide section of society and all seemed to be blessed with common sense and the ability to assess evidence and witness cross examination

    It quite restored my faith in the system

    If you want to clear a back log run back to back cases from say 6am to 8pm and over weekends

    Mind you that would require the government spending some money, they seem to be quite happy to hose it at the NHS

  8. “they seem to be quite happy to hose it at the NHS”

    Which, of course, we ‘have to save’.

    Has anyone noticed how apocalyptic the radio ads are getting?

    “Anyone you meet in the park or in the supermarket is LIKELY to have Coronavirus”

    “If you bend the rules, people WILL DIE”

  9. He is the living embodiment of the Daily Mash’s tagline for the Guardian: “Wrong about everything, all of the time.”

  10. Andrew C

    Has anyone noticed how apocalyptic the radio ads are getting?

    The one about “the jogger likely to have Covid” – the Advertising Standards guys have now ordered BoJo and his clowns to drop that one and stop exaggerating!

  11. I’ve never been on a jury but my wife came near as damnit to a lovely double – the Old Bailey and the High Court in Edinburgh. Alas, for the latter she wasn’t needed on the day.

    She thought the OB jury did a sensible job, including finding an American thief guilty in the face of his somewhat hysterical psychiatric excuse-making. It was long enough ago that the oldest jurors could remember The War – his psycho-excuse didn’t much impress them.

  12. Bloke in North Dorset

    Presumably Sir Simon thinks that as he’s part of the establishment and that the establishment will never turn on him him so he doesn’t need protecting.

    Obviously history is not a strong point.

  13. Bloke in North Dorset

    “If you want to clear a back log run back to back cases from say 6am to 8pm and over weekends”

    Yep. The shortage isn’t jurors and if juries slow down the process as barristers and judges have to make everything thing clearer to the average person, so much the better.

  14. If there only was a supernatural being, enlightened one, dispensing justice…hey that sounds like Breaker Morant. Not one for poetry but this one is good.

    ” In prison cell I sadly sit,
    A dammed crestfallen chappie,
    And own to you I feel a bit–
    A little bit—unhappy.

    It really ain’t the place nor time
    To reel off rhyming diction ;
    But yet we’ll write a final rhyme
    While waiting crucifixion.

    No matter what end they decide
    Quick-lime? or boiling oil? sir
    We’ll do our best when crucified
    To finish off in style, sir !

    But we bequeath a parting tip
    For sound advice of such men
    Who come across in transport ship
    To polish off the Dutchmen.

    If you encounter any Boers
    You really must not loot ‘em,
    And, if you wish to leave these shores,
    For pity’s sake, don’t shoot ‘em.

    And if you’d earn a D.S.O.,
    Why every British sinner
    Should know the proper way to go
    Is: Ask the Boer to dinner.

    Let’s toss a bumper down our throat
    Before we pass to heaven,
    And toast: “The trim-set petticoat
    We leave behind in Devon.””

  15. In the US Jury trials have already been abandoned in over 90% of criminal cases which are settled by plea bargain. The gov threatens the perp with so much more punishment for going to trial even the innocent can’t afford the risk & so plead guilty.

    Does UK do that too?

  16. @tex There are three jurisdictions – (i) Scotland, (ii) England & Wales. (iii) Northern Ireland. As far as I know none of them use the dictatorial plea bargaining method. People more familiar, for one reason or another, with the criminal law might point to some low key behaviour by the prosecuting authority that comes close, but nobody pleads guilty to get a five year sentence rather than a five hundred year sentence.

  17. There was a rather controversial book published in the late-1970s – “Negotiated Justice” by Baldwin & McConville – that rather set the cat amongst the pigeons by revealing the extent of plea-bargaining in the English legal system. But, as @dearieme says above, it was relatively low-key, on the basis of “plead guilty to offence A and we’ll drop (similar) offence B) – certainly not the ludicrous cudgel system used by the yanks. There is, I believe, also the present “discount scheme” used, where offenders get a reduced sentence by pleading guilty to a (probably) un-defendable case.

  18. @dearieme & Baron Jackfield: Thanks for info. With poor public defenders & costs so high very few can afford to fight the gov, plea bargain seems to only out for too many. One defense atty noted that people are convicted for violating unconstitutional laws cuz they can’t go to trial where such defense could be made. Pleading guilty ends it. Some defense atty group found 10% of those on death row would not have been convicted with proper legal defense. It is likely that the rate would be higher for those sentenced to life & more so for lesser penalties.

  19. Dear Mr Worstall

    “The Covid pandemic has led to a reported buildup of 457,000 criminal cases, an increase of about 100,000 since the pandemic began.”

    So 357,000 backlog before the panicdemic began?

    Therefore abandon a thousand years of English Common Law.

    That makes sense. Not.


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